THE LIFE BEYOND THE VEIL

SPIRIT MESSAGES RECEIVED AND WRITTEN DOWN BY THE

REV. G{eorge}. VALE OWEN
{1860-1931}
VICAR OF ORFORD, LANCASHIRE WITH AN APPRECIATION BY

LORD NORTHCLIFFE
AND AN INTRODUCTION BY

SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE, M.D., LL.D.
EDITED BY

H. W. ENGHOLM

BOOK III: THE MINISTRY OF HEAVEN

NEW YORK 1921

COPYRIGHT, 1921, BY GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

AN APPRECIATION BY LORD NORTHCLIFFE
I HAVE not had an opportunity of reading the whole of The Life Beyond the Veil, but among the passages I have perused are many of great beauty. It seems to me that the personality of the Rev. G. Vale Owen is a matter of deep importance and to be considered in connexion with these very remarkable documents. During the brief interview that I had with him I felt that I was in the presence of a man of sincerity and conviction. He laid no claims to any particular psychic gift. He expressed a desire for as little publicity as possible, and declined any of the great emoluments that could easily have come to him as the result of the enormous interest felt by the public all over the world in these scripts.
{Signature Shown}

CONTENTS
DATE PAGE

P REFACE NOTES BY H. W. E. AND G. V. O. I NTRODUCTION 8/ 9/17 THE W ORLD'S UNREST 6/11/17 A H AVEN OF REST IN SPHERE SIX 8/11/17 W ATER OF LIFE—KATHLEEN W RITES AT THE I NSTANCE OF OTHERS 10/11/17 ANGEL VISITORS TO EARTH 12/11/17 MUSIC 13/11/17 I NSPIRATION FROM THE SPHERES 15/11/17 THE COBBLER 16/11/17 THE I MPORTANCE OF KATHLEEN 17/11/17 DIFFICULTIES OF COMMUNICATION 22/11/17 P REPARATION FOR W RITING 28/11/17 P REPARATION (Continued) 27/11/17 THE BUILDING OF A TEMPLE IN SPHERE FIVE 28/11/17 THE SIGN OF THE CROSS —I TS EFFECT IN HELL 29/11/17 THE TEMPLE IN SPHERE FIVE—OBSTACLES TO COMMUNICATION 30/11/17 THE TEMPLE IN SPHERE FIVE—REPAIRING A DEFECTIVE TOWER 8/12/17 METHODS OF COMMUNICATION. ——————— SACRAMENTS 4/12/17 THE SACRAMENT OF THE BODY AND BLOOD OF THE CHRIST 5/12/17 THE SACRAMENT OF MARRIAGE 6/12/17 THE SACRAMENT OF DEATH ——————————————————————————— 7/12/17 THE W ALL OF THE BORDERLAND—THE TWO YOUNG COMRADES, A RRIVAL AND MEETING 10/12/17 THE ARRIVAL OF A MINISTER OF RELIGION IN THE SECOND SPHERE 11/12/17 COMMUNION BETWEEN EARTH AND SPHERES —A MANIFESTATION OF THE CHRIST

1 5,6 7 15 16 19 23 26 30 34 41 47 51 55 59 66 74 77 83

89 95 99 104 112 120

v

vi

CONTENTS

DATE

PAGE

12/12/17 THE DESCENT OF THE CHRIST INTO MATTER 127 14/12/17 THE ASCENT OF THE CHRIST—THE KINGDOM OF THE CHILD 138 17/12/17 THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY MOUNT—THE SEER DISMIS SES LEADER AND HIS P ARTY ON THEIR MISSION 139 18/12/17 I N SPHERE FIVE—THE P EAR-SHAPED HALL— A SONG OF THE COSMOS —A SPEECH BY LEADER 147 19/12/17 LEADER'S P ROBLEM IN SPHERE, F IVE AND ITS SOLUTION—A M ANIFESTATION OF THE CHRIST SORROWFUL AND GLORIFIED 154 20/12/17 SPHERE TWO—THE THREE ROODS ON CALVARY 163 31/12/17 AT THE BRIDGE—I N THE LAND OF DARKNESS 169 3/ 1/18 THE SOMETIME MAGISTRATE—A L ESSER CHRIST FROM THE FOURTH SPHERE 175 4/ 1/18 I NTO THE GREATER DARKNESS —THE CITY OF BLASPHEMY 182 8/ 1/18 THE CITY OF M INES—THE CAPTAIN OF THE GATE— TO THE MINES 198 11/ 1/18 THE MINES 208 15/ 1/18 THE "SPIRITS IN P RISON"—THE CHIEF OF THE CITY OF THE MINES 209 18/ 1/18 OUT OF THE MINES—THE CAPTAIN'S NEW SERVICE— THE LESSER CHRIST AND HIS NEW CHARGE 217 21/ 1/18 TOWARD THE LIGHT—CONCERNING THE MINES— ANIMALS I N THE HELLS GOOD SUPREME — KATHLEEN SPEAKS 228 25/ 1/18 RETURN TO SPHERE TEN—THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY MOUNT—SILENCE I N THE HIGHER SPHERES — A VISION OF THE CHRIST REGAL 229 28/ 1/18 THE DIADEM OF W ORSHIP THE P ROGRESS OF THE P EOPLE OF BARNABAS 238 1/ 2/18 ZABDIEL'S BAND—CONCERNING THE FUTURE OF THE P EOPLE OF BARNABAS 246

PREFACE
ALTHOUGH during the year 1920 the whole of the messages contained in this volume appeared in the Weekly Dispatch, their strict continuity was not observed for various editorial reasons. These thirty-nine communications are now, however, set forth in consecutive order and in the manner in which they were received by the Rev. G. Vale Owen, Commencing with the message from Kathleen on the evening of September 8th, 1917. These messages were all recorded in the Vestry of All Hallows, Orford, and Mr. Vale Owen invariably sat between the hours of 5 and 6.30 in the evening. I have personally compared the proofs of this volume, word for word, with the original manuscripts. In no instance has a word been altered or a passage omitted. The original script was written down by the Vicar in pencil in the manner described by me in Volumes I and II of this series. In the Note by Mr. Vale Owen on page 6 he describes how in September, 1917, he was called to sit again, after a lapse of over three years and nine months, by messages spelt out by the planchette operated by his wife. I have had the privilege of examining the records 1

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PREFACE

of these planchette messages. I found that week by week for practically the whole of a period of three years and more, the Vicar had kept in touch, by this means, with Kathleen and also many friends and members of his family who are Beyond the Veil. It appears from a number of these records, that during the year 1917 the Vicar received several requests from Kathleen to sit again for messages. Then on September 7th, 1917, I found Mr. Vale Owen had recorded the following: "Kathleen wants an answer to-night." (G.V.O.: "Well, will between 5 o'clock evensong and 6 o'clock do—in the Vestry?") "Yes, beautifully, thank you very much." Then on the following evening, and about an hour after Mr. Vale Owen, had recorded the first message in this volume dated September 8th, and which is signed Kathleen, he was seated in the dining-room of the Vicarage watching his wife operating the planchette, when this message was spelt out Kathleen is here. George will tell you how we got on." (G.V.O.: "How do you think we got on, Kathleen?") "Very nicely for a start." On carefully examining these planchette records, which fill many note books, I found several illuminating passages which throw much light on the communications Mr. Vale Owen received from time to time in the Vestry. The reality of communication with those Beyond the Veil stands out most vividly in these records.

PREFACE

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There is something about them that seems so perfectly natural. At the same time there is in these conversations so much relating to the sanctity of the home, that it is hardly to be expected these records will ever be made public. To Mr. Vale Owen the authenticity of the messages in this volume is not only a vital matter but a fact that means everything to him. He, I know, realizes only too well the tremendous responsibility that falls upon him in permitting them to be given to the world. But to know the Vicar of Orford gives one a deep insight into the spiritual side of these matters. Without seeking any gain for himself he has regarded it a bounden duty to his faith to associate his name with these messages, and to know "G.V.O.," as I know him, is to realize that he has done this in all humility. It is in spiritual comradeship and with implicit faith in those who have thought fit to use him as their instrument that he has laboured. No life could be more simple than the one which the Vicar and his family lead in the Vicarage at Orford, and to witness their struggle to make both ends meet on the stipend granted by the Church should be a sufficient answer to those who have been so ready to suggest that his unavoidable fame has brought affluence and ease. When reading these scripts I have often been reminded of the 12th verse of the 16th chapter of the Gospel of St. John, wherein it is written: "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." This was said by the Founder of Christianity nearly 2,000 years ago. Since then

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PREFACE

mankind has progressed in many directions. To any careful observer of the state of the world's progress to-day there are many indications of a spiritual awakening, a fuller realization and a loftier viewpoint of the deeper truths. There are possibly some amongst us now who are able at last to bear a little of the many things that have been promised to be revealed to us as the growth of our spiritual progress entitles us to understand them. It may be that this volume contains a little more of those "many things" designed to broaden our vision, strengthen our faith, and help us to realize more fully the wonderful things which God has in store for all those that love Him. H. W. ENGHOLM. LONDON, March, 1921

NOTES BY H. W. E.
ON THE IDENTITY OF THE COMMUNICATORS AND OTHERS MENTIONED IN THIS VOLUME. AS stated in the course of the messages dated November 16, 17, 22 and 23, these communications came from a band of people directed by one who was called the Leader (see footnote on page 58). It transpired in a later script* that the Leader's name was Arnel, which name he only used when communicating without collaborating with his band of helpers. Kathleen acted as intermediary between Mr. Vale Owen and those who were communicating. The reason for this is clearly defined in the message of November 16 (see page 41). Kathleen, in earth fife, was a sempstress who lived in Liverpool, and passed over at the age of twenty-eight through consumption in the year 1893. This information, as well as other details connected with her, were given at different times between 1914 and 1920 to Mr. Vale Owen and his family, through a planchette operated by the Vicar's wife. Ruby, who is referred to on pages 46 and 56, it should be explained, is a daughter of the Rev. G. Vale Owen. She was born at Fairfield, Liverpool, on August 26, 1895, and died at the same address on November 21, 1896. According to messages received through the planchette by the Vicar's wife, little Ruby was mothered by Kathleen when she passed on to the other side, and subsequently the child was brought under the * Included in Volume IV, "The Battalions of Heaven." 5

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NOTES BY H. W. E.

guardianship of Kathleen to visit her parents when they were using the planchette. It was in this way Kathleen became acquainted with the Vale Owen family, and in consequence was used by Leader and his band as their amanuensis when communicating their messages to Mr. Vale Owen in the vestry of All Hallows, Orford. The reference on page 52 to "Your mother, and her band" refers to Mr. Vale Owen's mother, who died in the year 1909 and communicated the first messages the Vicar received during September and October, 1913, all of which are contained in Vol. I of The Life Beyond the Veil, entitled "The Lowlands of Heaven." Zabdiel, who is mentioned on pages 52, 58, 54, 58 and 60, is the one who communicated the messages to Mr. Vale Owen now published in Volume II, "The Highlands of Heaven."

NOTE BY G. V. O. WHEN Zabdiel's messages (contained in Volume II) terminated on January 3, 1914, I knew that phase of work had come to an end, and nothing had been said to me about any further communications. So I let the matter rest until September, 1917, when I was called to sit again by messages through the planchette operated by my wife. Also about September, 1917, I felt the same urge to write I had experienced in 1913, when the messages from my mother and Astriel first came through and which are in Volume I of The Life Beyond the Veil.

INTRODUCTION BY SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE THE long battle is nearly won. The future may be chequered. It may hold many a setback and many a disappointment, but the end is sure. It has always seemed certain to those who were in touch with truth, that if any inspired document of the new revelation could get really into the hands of the mass of the public, it would be sure by its innate beauty and reasonableness to sweep away every doubt and every prejudice. "Now world-wide publicity is given to the very one* of all others which one would have selected, the purest, the highest, the most complete, the most exalted in its source. Verily the hand of the Lord is, here! The narrative is before you, and ready to speak for itself. Do not judge it merely by the opening, lofty as that may be, but mark the ever ascending
* This refers to the whole series of messages including Vols. I, II, III and IV.

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INTRODUCTION

beauty of the narrative, rising steadily until it reaches a level of sustained grandeur. Do not carp about minute details, but judge it by the general impression. Do not be unduly humorous because it is new and strange. Remember that there is no narrative upon earth, not even the most sacred of all, which could not be turned to ridicule by the extraction of passages from their context and by over-accentuation of what is immaterial. The total effect upon your mind and soul is the only standard by which to judge the sweep and power of this revelation. Why should God have sealed up the founts of inspiration two thousand years ago? What warrant have we anywhere for so unnatural a belief? Is it not infinitely more reasonable that a living God should continue to show living force, and that fresh help and knowledge should be poured out from Him to meet the evolution and increased power of comprehension of a more receptive human nature, now purified by suffering. All these marvels and wonders, these preternatural happenings during the last seventy years, so obvious and notorious that only shut eyes have failed to see them, are trivial in themselves, but are the signals which have called our material minds to attention, and have directed them towards those messages of which this particular script may be said to be the most complete example. There are many others, varying in detail according to the sphere described or the opacity of the

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transmitter, for each tinges the light to greater or less extent as it passes through. Only with pure spirit will absolutely pure teaching be received, and yet this story of Heaven must, one would think, be as near to it as mortal conditions allow. And is it subversive of old beliefs? A thousand times No. It broadens them, it defines them, it beautifies them, it fills in the empty voids which have bewildered us, but save to narrow pedants of the exact word who have lost touch with the spirit, it is infinitely reassuring and illuminating. How many fleeting phrases of the old Scriptures now take visible shape and meaning? Do we not begin to understand that "House with many mansions," and realize Paul's "House not made with hands," even as we catch some fleeting glance of that glory which the mind of man has not conceived, neither has his tongue spoken? It all ceases to be a far-off elusive vision and it becomes real, solid, assured, a bright light ahead as we sail the dark waters of Time, adding a deeper joy to our hours of gladness and wiping away the tear of sorrow by assuring us that if we are only true to God's law and our own higher instincts there are no words to express the happiness which awaits us. Those who mistake words for things will say that Mr. Vale Owen got all this from his subconscious self. Can they then explain why so many others have had the same experience, if in a less exalted degree?

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INTRODUCTION

I have myself epitomized in two small volumes the general account of the other world, drawn from a great number of sources. It was done as independently of Mr. Vale Owen as his account was independent of mine. Neither had possible access to the other. And yet as I read this far grander and more detailed conception I do not find one single point of importance in which I have erred. How, then, is this agreement possible if the general scheme is not resting upon inspired truth'? The world needs some stronger driving force. It has been running on old inspiration as a train runs when the engine is removed. New impulse is needed. If religion had been a real compelling thing, then it would show itself in the greatest affairs of all—the affairs of nations, and the late war would have been impossible. What church is there which came well out of that supreme test? Is it not manifest that the things of the spirit need to be restated and to be recoupled with the things of life? A new era is beginning. Those who have worked for it may be excused if they feel some sense of reverent satisfaction as they see the truths for which they laboured and testified gaining wider attention from the world. It is not an occasion for self-assertion, for every man and woman who has been by being allowed to work in such a cause is well aware that he or she is but an agent in the hands of unseen but very real, wise, and

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dominating forces. And yet one would not be human if one were not relieved when one sees fresh sources of strength, and realizes the allprecious ship is held more firmly than ever upon her course.
{Signature Shown}

CREATION
WHERE spaces spread their acres broad Stands many a mighty Angel Lord, With ear attent to catch the tone Of whispers wafted from the Throne. They weave them into light and shade, And lo, a Universe is made. Anon a Voice, "Lords Delegate Of My Omnipotence, Create!" Unmoved, yet moving everything, Like golden rain their thoughts they fling. The cosmos stirs uneasily, And sentient Life begins to be. Diverse and lovely, at their urge, A myriad living forms emerge, As they on bird and beast and tree Impress their personality; while He from Whom all things began Becomes articulate in Man. Then speaks the Eternal Sentinel, "We have done all things very well. It is enough. These sons of Mine Shall know their origin divine, Assume their heavenly dignity And lead Creation back to me."

February, 1921. Subsequent to the reception of the portion of the Script which is included in this volume, I received the verses printed above as the keynote of the general theme. G. V. O. 12

THE WORLD'S UNREST Saturday, September 8, 1917. 5.10-5.35 p.m. I AM speaking through your mind, so put down what thoughts I am able to suggest to you and judge by the result. Afterwards we may be able to write direct, without my thoughts coming into contact with your own. Let us begin then by saying that, although many take in hand to write thus, yet not many continue, because their own thoughts clash with ours and the result is a medley of confusion. Now, what would you say if I were to tell you that I have written before by your hand, and that many times? For it was I who came with your mother and her friends and helped them to give you those messages which you wrote down a few years ago, and, in doing that, I also prepared myself for further work of the kind with other people. So let us begin to-night very simply, and you and I will progress together by practice. Have you noticed the truth of the words "All things work together for good to them that love God"? It is a truth which few people realize to the full meaning of it, because they take only a limited view. "All things" include not the earthly alone, 13

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but those of these spirit realms also, and the end of "all things" is not seen by us, but is produced into realms higher still than ours and is focussed on the Great Throne of God Himself. But the working is seen, in small measure truly, but plainly nevertheless. The phrase includes the angels and their duties as they go about to do them both here and on the earth plane and, although the working out of those commands which come to them from those High Ones who supervise God's economy seems often to clash with man's ideas of justice and mercy and goodness, yet the wider view of them who stand above, nearer the mountain peak, is fair and serene in the sunlight of God's love, and seems to them, as it does to us in lesser measure, very beautiful and very wonderful in its working. At the present time men's hearts are failing them for fear, because it seems to many that, somehow, things are not working out quite as God would have them. But when you are in the valley the mists are so heavy and thick that it is hard for you to see in anywise clearly, and the sun can penetrate to your regions scarce at all. This Great War is, in the eternal councils, but a heaving of the breast of a giant in his sleep, restless because on his torpid brain is impinging rays of light his closed eyes cannot see, and music he does not hear is beating upon him, and he heaves a sigh of restlessness as he lies down there in the valley—the Valley of Decision, if so you will. Only gradually will he awake and the mists will clear away, and, the carnage overwrought madly while he slept—he will have leisure

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then to think and wonder over the night past with all its frenzy, no less than all the beauty of a world flooded with the light from over the mountain's peak, and then he will at last understand indeed that all things do work in love, and that our God is Father still and His Name has been Love ever, even when His Face was hidden by the surging mists and cold winds and miasma which had lain like a pall over the valley's bottom. It was a pall to cover all there is of death in the world, and out of death life comes, and life is all beautiful because the Source and Fountain of all life is He Who is beautiful altogether. So remember that God's ways are not always the ways man would design for Him, and His thoughts are not circumscribed by the enclosing hills, but come from the Realms of Light and Gladness; and thither lies our way. This, then, for to-night. It is a little ray of brightness on ways at present dark for many a poor erring soul. May God keep that giant in His keeping, and in due time give him the heart of a little child, for of such is the Kingdom of our Lord. And the giant, sleeping, blind, deaf and restless, is the Humanity He came to save. KATHLEEN.

A HAVEN OF REST IN SPHERE SIX Tuesday, November 6, 1917. 5.20 p.m. "PLANTED by the water-side." Those are the words which, if you think of it, seem to have a two-fold meaning. There is, of course, the more manifest meaning of the plant or tree drawing its fertility from the river or canal near which it is planted. But we in these realms understand how every earthly truth has a spiritual significance, a significance that is as natural in these heavenly spheres as that which the outer truth conveys to you on earth. Whether the writer of these words had any knowledge of these heavenly conditions to which his phrase is applicable, I do not know. But it seems likely at least that his Angel Guide meant to convey something more than an earthly fact by those words to those who have ears to hear. I will amplify this according to my own rather limited knowledge helped by those who have more wisdom in heavenly science than I. The water-side I have in mind is not a river, however, but a very broad lake which, in the earth plane, would be called an inland sea, so large as to form a separative boundary between two large tracts of country in Sphere Six. The shore is varied, being in 16

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some places rocky, even precipitous, and in others sloping down to the water's edge in grassy lawns and park lands. Nor have I in mind so much a tree as a whole forest of trees belting the blue-gold waves of the sea and sweeping up over hills and highlands and fringing cliffs with their leafy verdure. Near to the lake side stands a grove, and in the grove a mansion. It is a place of rest for voyagers across that lake whence they come, some very tired from their long journey over land and sea to this haven of rest. Some are new-comers into Sphere Six, and rest here to condition and acclimatize themselves to their new environment before penetrating further inland to explore their new homeland. Others are residents in this Sphere who have gone forth over the sea on some commission into the spheres inferior, some even passing onward, as I have now done, down into the Sphere of earth. Returning, they often, but not always, rest here, and gather strength before proceeding to report to the Angel Lord or one of His commissioners how they have fared on their errand. Others again simply return here and recuperate, and, their business being of urgency, do not go inland at all, but dive down across the lake and disappear into the less bright horizon toward the sphere where their task has been left not quite complete. Occasionally, and indeed not seldom, a visitor from one of the higher Spheres passing on his way to or from your earth, or some sphere intermediate, will spend some little season here in the Grove of Rest, and gladden the guests with the brightness of his personality. Yes, dear friend, we know what it is here to enter into Rest

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—it is one of the sweetest pleasures, this rest, after some enterprise of high adventure for the sake of those who are in need of such help. And there planted, just where it should be, by the water-side, is the groveembosomed Home, where the fruitage of many a sowing far far away in the dimmer spheres is brought, considered and put in order for presentation to the Angel Lord. Many a trophy, too, wrested for the Lord of Love by blows given and taken, both hard and keen, is brought here for refreshment and careful tending, living trophies for which the Christ Himself has fought, and, fighting valiantly, won. You grow weary now, my friend. More practice will enable me to use your hand with less strain and more facility. May I say, accept my love and thanks and good night.

WATER OF LIFE KATHLEEN WRITES AT THE INSTANCE OF OTHERS Thursday, November 8, 1917. 5.15-6.0 p.m. AND now, dear friend and fellow-pilgrim, let us take a journey inland from the Home of Rest and see what chances by the way to those who journey so. For we are both pilgrims, you and I, and are on the same road to the same brightness still beyond and away over the high mountains which border this sphere and that one next ahead. We leave the grounds and gardens of the Home behind us and take our way down a long high colonnade of trees which leads to the open country, and as we go we notice that the way goes not straight onward, but follows the line of the valley beside the river which comes down by this way to the sea. Let me now before proceeding explain some of the qualities of the waters of this river. You have read of the Water of Life. That phrase embodies a literal truth, for the waters of the spheres have properties which are not found in the waters of earth, and different properties attach to different waters. The waters of the river or fountain or lake 19

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are often treated by high spirits and endowed with virtues of strengthening or enlightenment. Sometimes people bathe in them and gather bodily strength from the life-vibrations which have been set up in the water by the exercise of some group of angel-ministers. I know of a fountain situated on the top of a high tower which sends forth a series of musical chords of deep harmony when it is set to play. This is used instead of bells to call the people of the surrounding lands together when some ceremony is forward. Moreover, its spray disperses itself over a wide radius, and is seen to fall around the gardens and homes spread out over the plain in the form of flakes of light of different colours. These flakes are so constituted as to bring to those on whom or around whom they fall a sense of the general nature and purpose of the meeting about to be held, a kind of glow which suffuses the whole being and brings a sense of comradeship and communal love which makes the recipient the more eager to be away to the gathering. Also by this process is borne through the district a sense of the time and place of meeting, and often, too, the knowledge of some Angel Visitor who is to address the assembly or to transact some business, as deputy of the Lord of his Sphere. The chief property of the waters of this river whose banks we now follow upward is that of peace. In a way far beyond all earthly understanding all the qualities of its waters infuse peace to him who strolls beside its waters. Its various colours and hues, the murmur of its flowing, the plants to which it contributes fertility, the shape and appearance of its rocks and banks—all,

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in a very intense measure, bring peace to the soul who needs it. And there are many who need that peace among those returning from the lower spheres across the great lake, for it is a strenuous life we lead at times, my friend, and not at all the deadly monotonous existence so many earth people imagine. So that there are times when it is necessary to lay the burden down for awhile, and for our future operations regain that calm and strong quietude of spirit so necessary to the adequate carrying out of our allotted work. You must also understand that there is in everything here a permeating personality. Every forest, every grove, every tree, lake, stream, meadow, flower, house, has a pervading personality. Itself it is not a person, but its existence and all its attributes and qualities are consequent on the sustained and continuous volition of living beings, and their personality it is which is felt by all who come into contact with each and any of these, and that in a degree in ratio to their sensitiveness in the particular direction of the resident personality. Some, for instance, axe more sensitive to those beings whose activity lies in the trees; others to those of the river. But all seem to sense the qualities of a building, especially when they enter within, for these are erected mostly by spirits more nearly of their own quality and degree, while most of what we might call nature spirits are of a state and manner of existence and of function much more removed. Now, what obtains in these Realms is usually found true in your earth sphere also, only in a lesser degree of intensity as sensed by the ordinary individual,

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consequent on his deep immersion in matter at this present stage of evolution. It is only less apparent, it is not less true. For some minutes a question has been forming in your mind. Ask it, and I will try to answer you. I was thinking that all this is very unlike the thoughts which usually occupy the mind of a lady. You said it was you who wished to write by my hand, Kathleen. Are you writing this? Yes, my inquiring friend, it is I who am writing. But you did not suppose I imagined for a minute that you would be satisfied with my own small talk, did you? Anyway, I provided against any such disaster by bringing a few friends with me who use me much as I am using you. They are not all men; some are women, and they act together with one consent as one voice, one message, so these words I write are a blend of varied mentality, and we have managed a fairly good blend too, if we are able to control your restiveness a little better. Aid us in this and we will do our best on this side, too. And now good night, and may we progress well as practice lends its aid.

ANGEL VISITORS TO EARTH Saturday, November 10, 1917. 5.15-5.55 p.m. PARTAKERS of the heavenly calling." You and I, my friend, are such partakers, for while I call to you, I in turn am called to by those further removed, and they by others of still higher degree until the line of callers finds its source in Him Who Himself was called of God the Father and sent on His mission to your poor darkened sphere in time long past. It is in the fact of this "calling" by those superior to us in strength and in their faculty to impart that strength to those of lesser rank and power that we find our sure confidence. It is no light matter, I do assure you, to receive the command "Go forth downward." For as we Proceed earthward, both the brightness of our environment and of our own persons also grows less and less, and by the time we reach the neighbourhood of earth we can but with difficulty see about us. This at first; but by and by our eyes become attuned to the coarser vibrations impinging on them, and then we are able to see. This also comes more readily by practice. But it is a blessing only in that enables us to do our work among you, and not by 23

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any means to be desired of itself alone. For the sights we see are mostly such as do not give us cheer, but much heart-rending to take back with us into our brighter homes. Such places as that I described to you planted by the water-side are therefore not only convenient and desirable, but absolutely needful to our work. For I must tell you another function they serve. From such Homes of Rest are sent forth streams of life-power generated from Spheres above, stored in those Homes, and given forth as required. When we call there, on our way earthward, we set forth again bathed in such a stream of strength and vitality. As we approach the earth, the effect of it is not so apparent to our senses. But it is about us, nevertheless, laves us, penetrates through us and permeates all our being, and by it we are sustained, as the air tube sustains the diver on the ocean floor, where the light from the wider freer atmosphere above is dim and he goes heavily by reason of the denser element in which he moves. So it is with us, and when we find difficulty in speaking so that we be heard of you, or make mistakes in our wording or even in the matter of the message, then be patient, and do not ever be thinking that some deceiver is at hand. For, bethink you, friend, how difficult it would be for one diver to speak audibly to another, both helmeted and with water between them, and then you may realize how much of patience and steadfast endeavour on our part is needed, and will perchance, more readily, give us a more patient hearing on your own. But when we, our labour done here below, face us about toward the upper reaches of the heavens of

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God, then we the more readily feel the stream of life flowing from the distant Home of Rest and Refreshment. We feel its laving once again; it beats upon our tired brows refreshfully; our jewels, whose lights, like the virgins' lamps, had burned most dim, once more take on their lustre as we proceed heavenward. Our raiment glows into a brighter hue, our hair becomes more burnished and our eyes less tired and dimmed, and best of all, perhaps, in our ears we hear, increasingly more plain, the melody of our Calling, bidding us back from the harvest field to the Harvest Home with whatever sheaves we may have gathered ripe for the Garner of God. Now, friend, I will not longer detain you, for I know you have business afoot which must be done and brooks of no delay. Only this further:—Your old doubts have been once more between you and us who call to you. Yet this message is not of your own making. How can I know that? Only by patience which will ensure progress and progress conviction. Good night, friend, and all Peace. Kathleen and her users send you this.

MUSIC Monday, November 12, 1917. 5.25-6.10 p.m. Kathleen, the organist is going to practise; that will not hinder you, will it? SO far from hindering, it will help, and perhaps a propos, I might say to you this evening some few words about the music of the Spheres. Yes, we have music of a like nature with yours of earth. But—and there is a large but here—your music is but the overflow from the reservoir of Heaven's music. You do get gleams of the glorious harmony we have here, as it comes through. But it is muffled by reason of the thick veil through which it all has to pass, even the finest of earth's masterpieces. Listen, my friend, while I try to explain how you receive your music from these lands, and you will be able then to give your imagination rein and stint it not at all, for you will not overdo your imagining. Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard—ear of earth could not hear—the heavenly harmony in its pulsations and liftings and fallings, and the strong harmony of its foundational bed of deep-toned glory. Nay, while in the body material, with brain of 26

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matter as both receiver and interpreter, it cannot enter into the heart of man to conceive, much less to bring forth, any worthy image of the dulcet beauty of our harmony. What music formed the Spheres, we here, in these of lower estate, are unable to measure, as you of earth are not competent to measure ours. This, and almost this only, do we know, or think we know—it passes for knowledge with us in any wise—the Heart of God is the Source of harmony in music—not so much the Mind of God as God's great Heart. From Him flow forth the love-strains of His melody, and those spheres which are most near to His attunement receive those Divine harmonies, and by them, with other influences combined, become more and more attuned to Him Who is the Source of all that is Lovely and Loveable. Thus, as the eternities glide on, they who inhabit those far high Spheres blend within themselves more and more of attributes awful and sublime, and compass, each within himself, more and more of Divinity. That, however, is far too high for us to tell of adequately. Our business with you at this time is to tell as best we may, in what few words suffice, some of that we take note of as this same stream descends upon us and passes onward, broadening as each molecule of tone expands of itself and thrusts its fellows outward, until by the time that stream impinges on your boundary it has become much grosser and more coarsened in its texture, and so suited to those almost tangible vibrations available in your sphere.

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This stream from above us finds a receptacle here, and more than one receptacle. This is used as a reservoir, and the music is moulded into airs and melodies and started forth once again as a small but intense stream earthward. Immediately, it begins to expand as I have already told you, and what you receive therefore is not sterling essence but the attenuated expansion of the original creation. It is like a small hole in a shutter of a darkened room. Through it streams a small jet of sunlight, but when it reaches the opposite wall it is much thinner in quality and the stream is filled with dancing motes which only tend to obscure the brightness with which it enters through the small aperture. Well, but even so, your music is both lovable and uplifting. Oh, bethink you, then, my friend, what must the music of these Spheres be. It ravishes us with ennobling pain and pleasure, and each becomes in himself an accumulator of energy to give forth again what he has received, interpreted and moulded by his own personality for the benefit of those who are not so progressed as he. So is the exquisiteness and potency tempered by those among us whose special aptitude is of such a kind, in order that it be not too fine in nature for the comprehension of those higher souls of earth who catch, and in some degree retain, what thus reaches them from the Master of Music here aloft. I would we might lengthen out our account, but you cannot well receive more now. We would put it in brief then, that as in other so in this matter the broad, grand truth holds true, from the Father in

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orderly retrocession down to the humblest of men: "As the Father has life in Himself so has He given to the Son to have life in Himself "—not life alone, but life in all its phases—of which music is one. As the Son dispenses that life received from the reservoir of His being, giving life as from Himself, so His servants do in lesser degree in ratio to their capacity—not life alone, as parents to the child, but love, beauty, high thoughts and heavenly melody. My love to you, my friend. Kathleen, for those others who use me to give their thoughts to you, who am nearer to you than they.

INSPIRATION FROM THE SPHERES Tuesday, November 13, 1917. 5.25-6.20 p.m. WE have spoken to you, friend, of the life-stream of the Father's love, of water and its uses, of music also. And now, to-night, a few words as to the co-ordination of forces to any certain and particular end purposed by those whose duty and responsibility it is to issue into these Spheres inferior such commands as are decreed in those above. Know you, therefore, you who dwell in one of the uttermost of these Spheres, that such duties as are assigned to you have all been worked out as to their class, and the end to which they tend, by those who dwell in realms far above you. These schemes of allotted service are transmitted downward until they reach you, and are made known to you sometimes in one manner, sometimes in another, and to one more plainly, and to another loss watchful, not so plain. Nevertheless, all who run the race of the earth—life may read the scroll if he choose, and persevere still to will that light be vouchsafed to him as to what his life shall be and to what end he has been guided. But to few is given to know or glimpse the future far ahead. "Sufficient unto the day" is the rule, 30

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as He once said, and this suffices, so your trust be firm and quiet all the time. Not because the future is not known, but only because it is competent alone for those of high capacity and estate to view the distant course of life's grand purpose; and our capacity is sufficient for just a little view, and that of man in average scarce for any view ahead at all. As such schemes are given through so many spheres descending, it is therefore of natural consequence that they be tinctured by the dominant character of each of those spheres through which they filter downwards, and, by the time they reach you, they partake of a nature so complex in design that the ultimate issue is very hard to discover, even to us, times oft, who have some practised skill in the matter. This is one purpose and use of faith, to be able to realize one's duty and no, more, and on that conviction to go forth and do valiantly, nothing doubting that the end is seen by those who compassed the design. If those who are instrumental in the working-out of such scheme be faithful and diligent, those who conceived it have the power to attain. But not unless, for every man is free to choose, and no man's will is overruled in the matter of his choosing. If he choose to go faithfully onward and with trust, then the end is sure. If he choose to go out of the way designed, then he is not let nor forced. Guidance is offered then and gently. If this be refused, he is left to go alone—yet not alone, for others will be his companions, and that in plenty. In order to illustrate our meaning. A book will be projected whose need is seen. We will say that those in a sphere whose dominant note is that of

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science will conceive the outline of the book. This is handed on to another sphere whose note is love. Into the scheme will be infused a softening, rounding-off effect, and the scheme handed on. A sphere where beauty rules will add some illustrations which will give harmony and colour to the theme. Then it will come to such a company as they who study the different traits dominant in the races of mankind. These will study very carefully the theme itself, and look for the nation most fitted to put the venture forth in the world. This decided, they will carefully select the next sphere to which it shall be entrusted. It may need an infusion of historical precedent, or a poetical vein, or romance perchance. And what started out a framework of hard scientific fact may issue into the earth-plane as a scientific treatise, an historical resume, a novel, or even a poem or hymn. Read some of those hymns you know best in the light we have now given you and you will glimpse, if even faintly, our meaning. "God moves in a mysterious way" might be re-written as a scientific exposition of cosmic philosophy, or even science. So also "There is a book, Who runs may read." "O God, our help in ages past," might form the basis of a very informing work of Divine Providence as historically considered, and very possibly in its first conception may have been cast on those lines in some high sphere whose tone partakes of that disposition. For you will readily understand that such schemes axe originated not all in one sphere, but in many, and do not pass all from one sphere into another in identical order. Also, what may originate as a book may,

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before it reaches you, have been so much transfigured as to become an act of Parliament, or a play, or even a commercial enterprise. There is no finality to the ways and means. Whatever eventually seems to commend itself to the group of companies concerned in the production of any scheme in the service of God and on behalf of man is pressed into service. Thus it is that men work out the work of those who watch and guide them from on high. Let such, then, realize what great host of helpers they have behind them, and go forward bravely, nothing doubting, never faltering in their way, for they are not alone. * * * * *

To these thoughts which I have handed on to you, good friend, I would now add a few lesser ones of my own. Kathleen. What has been given by those who know more than I concerns men who are busy about the world's business of various kinds. But what I know of myself is that their words are also applicable to your own case, for no work of anyone is left unguided or without support from these fair realms. Take this little gift of mine in parting, therefore, dear friend. It is but a small one, but it is Kathleen's own.

THE COBBLER Thursday, November 15, 1917. 5.15-6.30 p.m. MEN used to say in those times when we lived among you of earth that they who chose the better way of life should rue it soon but later triumph. That some of us at least have proved and found not wanting in wisdom. For they who choose so have an eye not on time, which is short, but on eternity, which is long. From these spheres now we look backward, and, seeing our journey in view foreshortened and flattened out like a picture, we are able the better to mark the salient points which the canvas holds, and shape our future course in harmony with what lesson we there may read. And how different is that picture, as the white light of Heaven shows it to us, from what it seemed when we were in the midst of the making of it and gathering the materials for the composite work. Do not you who are doing this to-day as we did it then, be careless too much of how you value the different elements of human life and living. Now we see that those great enterprises in which we took our parts were mostly great because we looked on them in 34

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bulk. But our part in them was individually but minute, and only motive mattered, not the part we played, to us. For, dispersed over all who came within its influence, each great enterprise thins out so much that each has only a little part to play. It is the motive continuously operative with which he plays that part that matters. The whole is for the race the individual gets his share of benefit of result, but each share is only small, while, if his motive be high, it matters not how much the world takes note of his doings; here he is given what part to play he has fitted himself for in the battle of the earth life. This seems a bit involved. Could you give me an instance by way of illustration? We could give you many, friend. Here is one. A cobbler who earned just enough to pay his dues and had nought over when his burial fees were paid came over here many years ago, as you say it. He was received soberly by a small group of friends, and was well content that they had borne him so much in mind as to come so far as to earth to show him his way to the sphere where he should go. It was one of those near earth, not a high one, and, as I say, he was well content. For there he found peace after much toil and weariness and his battle with poverty, and leisure to go and see the various interesting sights and places of that sphere. To him it was Heaven indeed, and all were kind to him, and he was very happy in their company. One day, to use your earth-phrasing, a Lord from a higher sphere came along the street where was his

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home and went within. He found the cobbler reading out of a book which he had found in the house when he was taken there and told it was his home. The Angel Lord called him by his name of earth—I do not remember what—and the cobbler arose. "What read you, my friend?" the Angel asked him. The man made answer thus, "It is nought of much interest to me, sir, that I read. It is but just within my comprehension, indeed, for it was evidently written not for people of this sphere but of one much higher." "To what end was it written?" the Angel asked again, and he replied, "Sir, it tells of high estate and enterprise, of the ordering of great companies of men and women in those spheres above us in the service of the One Father. These people, I find, were once of nations and faiths diverse one from another, for so the manner of their speech would seem to show. But to the writer of this book they do not seem diverse any more, for they have, by long training and much progress, come together as a band of brethren, and there be no longer any divisions among them to divide them, neither in affection one for another, nor in reasonable understanding. They are at unity of purpose and service and desire. By that I judge that the life herein written of is not of this sphere, but of one far above this. The book, moreover, is of instruction, not even for that bright company, but rather for the guidance of leaders among them, for it tells of statesmanship and of high rule, and of the wisdom required of those who lead. For this reason,

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sir, it is not of interest to me presently, but it may be in some long distant age. How the book came here I cannot tell." Then the Angel Lord took the book and closed it and handed it to the cobbler silently, and, as he took it from the Angel's hand, his cheeks flushed red in great confusion, for, blazing upon the cover, were gems of ruby and of white whose order of spelling flashed back his name to him in light and fire. "But I did not see it, sir," he said. "I did not see my name thereon until but now." "Yet it is yours, as you see," the Angel said, and so, for your instruction. For know you, my friend, this sphere is but a resting-place for you. Now you have rested you must begin your work, and that not here, but in that higher sphere of which this book tells and in which it was written." The cobbler faltered in his speech, for he was afraid, and shrank back and bent his head before the Angel's words. This only could he say, "I am a cobbler, sir; I am not a leader of men. And I am content with a humble place in this bright home which is Heaven indeed for such as I." But the Angel said, "Now, for that saying alone you should have advancement. For you must know that true humility is one of the surest shields and safeguards of those who stand in high places to rule. But you have more weapons than this shield of humility, which is protective in a passive way. Weapons of offence also you have been tempering and sharpening in that life on earth. When you made boots, your

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thoughts were to make them so that they would endure long wear and so ease the purse of the poor buyer of them. You thought more of this than of the price you would be paid. That, indeed, you made a rule; that rule grew into you and became part of your character. Here such a virtue is not lightly esteemed. "Again, though hard pressed to pay your dues, yet from time to time you gave an hour out of daylight to help some friend to gather in his harvest, to plant his plot of ground, to thatch his roof or rick, or perchance, to watch some sick man by his bedside. The hours thus given you restored by candle-light, for you were poor. This also was noted from this side by reason of the growing brightness of your soul, as we can see the world of men from our vantage-point, where the light of the spheres, sweeping over our shoulders from behind, strikes on those in the earth life and is reflected back by the virtues in men, and finds no reflector in their vices. So the souls of those who live well are lightened, but dark and sombre show the souls of those who live ill lives. "Other things I could tell you of what you did and why. But let these for the time suffice, while I tell you now my message. In the sphere of which this book tells, there awaits you a company of people. They have been trained and organized. Their mission is to visit a sphere near earth from time to time and to receive from the hands of those who bring them the spirits who have lately come over. Their task is to study these newcomers and to allot

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to each his proper place and to send him there by a band of helpers who attend for that purpose. They are ready to start at any time and have only been awaiting their leader. Come, good friend, and I will show you the way to them where they await you." Then the cobbler knelt down and put his forehead upon the ground at the Angel's feet and wept and said, "If I were worthy, sir, for this great service. But, alas, I am not worthy. Nor do I know this company, nor whether they would follow me." And the Angel Lord replied, "The message comes from Him Who cannot err in choice of person. Come, you will not find a band of strangers there. For often when your tired body slept you were led into that same sphere, aye even in your earth life this was done. There you, too, were trained, and there you learned, first to obey, and later to command. You will know them well when you see them, and they also know you well. He will be your strength, and you shall do valiantly." Then he led him forth of the house and down the street and up the mountain pass beyond. And as they went his dress became brighter and lighter of texture, and his body gained somewhat in stature and very much in lustre, and, as they went ascending, so the cobbler was gradually left behind, and the Prince and Leader emerged. After a long journey and a very pleasant one, much drawn out in order that the change might be the more gently wrought, they came to the company. He

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recognized them, one and all, and they, on their part, came and stood before him, and he knew he could lead them well, for the lovelight he saw in their eyes.

THE IMPORTANCE OF KATHLEEN Friday, November 16, 1917. 5.14-6.16 p.m. MUCH of what we say to you, friend, no doubt seems strange to your ears, who have not beard nor seen what we have been privileged to bear and see. But if aught perplex you, be you well assured of this: that what clouds of mist you now endure we also once encountered before you. We, therefore, are not strangers to your difficulties and your doubts, and do not marvel at your frequent hesitancy. Nevertheless, put down what comes into your mind; later read it critically and perchance you will admit the sum of the result as worthy of the labour, lacking in perfection as it may well be, both in body and in raiment. The body is of more importance than raiment, remember, and interior to both is the soul. Get down to that of our discourse, for if there be any worth in what we give you it is there it may be found. Your phraseology is a bit antique. I suppose you find it easier than modern English. Is that it? I have frequently been about to write a phrase in a more modern way, and immediately some quaint bit of wording 41

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seems to have come into my mind and thrust it out. You go not far out of the way, my friend. For indeed we find it more of ease to us to use what comes into our mind of past manners in words and their use and arrangement. But if you would rather, we will endeavour so to use your brain as to employ what we find there of more modern style. We will try if you wish it so. By no means. I merely remarked on it as being not quite in the ordinary course of things. For instance, when I am preaching, the friend who helps me then does not make me use old-time phraseology. No, there are many minor differences in the method by which we do our work. It would come more easily to him, no doubt, to lapse occasionally at least into the way of speaking which he learned when on your plane. But by practice he has managed to clear this and use your own stock of wording, lest the strangeness of his perplex your hearers and give them cause to question whether the pose be yours and unworthy a preacher of simplicity and meekness. On the other hand, we speaking thus for you to write have words and groups we cannot use unless we force your mind and then you in your perplexity would falter and we should go astray together from the purpose of our theme. How do you manage this business then? Well, only in part are we able to make in any wise clear to you the method we are employing in this particular case. And that we will so far as we

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be able. First then, here we stand a group to-night of seven—sometimes more, at others less. We have already broadly settled what we will say to you, but leave the precise wording till we sight you and sense your disposition of mind and also what store for the day your mind has in hand. Then we take our stand a little distance away, lest our influence, the emanations of our several minds, reach you in detail, and not as one stream but as many, and so confuse you. But from the little distance at which we stand they merge and mingle and are focussed into one, so that by the time our thoughts reach you there is unity and not multiplicity of diction. When you sometimes hesitate, doubtful of a word or phrase, that is when our thoughts, mingling in one, are not quite perfected into the special word required. You pause, and, continuing their blending together, our thoughts at last assume unity, and then you get our idea and at once continue on your way. You have noticed this, doubtless? Yes, but I did not know the cause. No. Well, now to continue. We think our thoughts to you, and sometimes they are in such words as are too antique, as you say, for you to grasp them readily. This is remedied by filtering them through a more modern instrument, and it is of this which we now would speak. That instrument is your little friend Kathleen, who is good enough to come between you and us and so render our thoughts available for you. This in more ways than one. First, because she is nearer to you in status than we, who, having been longer here,

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have become somewhat removed from earth and the ways and manners of earth. She is of more recent transplanting and not yet so far away as when she speaks you cannot hear. For a like reason also she comes between; that is, the words that form her present store. She still can think in her old tongue of earth, and it is more modern than our own—though we like it not so well, since it seems to us more composite and less precise. But we must not find out faults with what is still beautiful. We have, no doubt, still our prejudices and insularity. These are not of recent growth, and when we come down here we cannot but take on anew some of those traits we once had but gradually have cast aside in our onward course. When we come back thus, we renew their acquaintaince and it is not altogether irksome; there is more than a little pleasure in it. Still, the little lady Kathleen is nearer you than we are in these respects, and the stream of our impelling we direct on you through her for that reason. Moreover, we stand a little apart from you because the presence of us combined would overmatch you. Aura is a word which we can use—we do not much affect it, but it must serve us now. Our blended auras would so affect you that you would indeed have experience of us which would be to you most pleasurable—a kind of ecstasy. But you could not write it down, and our purpose in coming is to give you such narrative of words as you and others may read with intelligence and perchance with benefit also. You glance at the dial of your timekeeper. You call it a watch. Why? That is one little instance

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of our preference for our older way of speaking. Timekeeper seems to us more explicit than the other word. But we do not press on you our opinions, lest we seem to fail in courtesy. And the meaning of your glance is clear, whatever we call the thing on which it fell. So we bid you good night, good friend, and God's fair blessing for you and yours. Good night. * * * * *

May Kathleen add a word, please? Yes, of course. These good friends are now speaking together, for they usually linger awhile, as if for old times' sake, before they go away. I always know when they are going, because the last thing they do is to turn to me and call out their thanks and farewell. They are a very bright and nice lot of gentlemen, and sometimes they bring a lady with them. I think that is when they are going to talk about some subject which the mere masculine mind can't grasp altogether. I don't know who she is, but she is very dignified and beautiful and kind-looking. Good-bye for the present, my dear friend, I shall be with you again soon. Thank you very much for letting me write with you. Good-bye, Kathleen, my dear. But I think the thanks should come from me. And yet you were reluctant to begin, weren't you. Yes, I was. I have so much to do just at present. Also, I do not forget the strain when I wrote those other messages four years ago. And yet the time for sitting for us has been arranged, hasn't it? Have you noticed that? And

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the strain is not so great as you expected. Isn't that so? Correct in both items. Well, the latter item is correct, as you put it, because your unworthy little friend Kathleen has made it her business to come in between. So don't think me in the future of no account, will you? Good-bye, and thank you once again. Ruby* would say "and kisses," but that is the privilege of being your daughter, you see. So I will just say good-bye, with love and good wishes. KATHLEEN.
* See page 5.

DIFFICULTIES OF COMMUNICATION Saturday, November 17, 1917. 5.35-6.30 p.m. BY reason of many intricate complications we find sometimes, when we read over what message we have given, that much which we tried to impress is not apparent there, and some lesser quantity of what we had not in mind appears. This is but a natural consequence of the intervention of so thick a veil between the sphere from which we speak and that in which the recorder lives his life. The atmosphere of the two spheres is so diverse in quality that, in passing from the one to the other, there is always a diminution of speed so sudden and so marked that a shock is given to the stream of our thoughts, and there is produced, just on the borderline, some inevitable confusion. It is like a river tumbling over a weir into a lower level where the surface is a span of ruffled water. We try to get in beneath, where the stream is not so disturbed, and then our message comes through more clearly. But this is one of the many difficulties we find. And here is another. The human brain is a very wonderful instrument, but it is of material substance, and even when the stream of our thoughts reaches 47

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and impinges upon it, yet, because of its density, the penetration is impeded and sometimes altogether brought to a stop. For the vibrations, as they leave us, are of high intensity, and the fineness of their quality is a hindrance to their effecting a correspondence in the human brain, which is gross by comparison. Once again there are many things here for which there are no words in any of the earth-languages to express their meaning. There are colours which your eyes do not see but are present in your spectrum; and there are more colours which are of higher sublimity than could be reproduced by the medium which shows both the earth-colours to you and registers those invisible to you but present withal. There are also notes and tones of sound of like nature and too fine for registration by the atmosphere of earth. There are forces also likewise not available with you, nor able to be expressed to you who have no experience or knowledge of them empirical. Sometimes it is said these constitute the Fourth Dimension. That is no true way of expressing the fact as it is, but it is perhaps better than leaving it unsaid utterly, and that is not to value such explanation very highly after all. These and other matters there are interpenetrating all our life and forming our environment. And when we come to speak of our life here, or of the causes we see in operation, of which you behold the effects alone, we are much perplexed, and strive continually to find just how to say it, so it shall be both understood of you and also not too wide of the target as known to us.

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So you will see that we have a task to do in speaking into your sphere from this of ours which is by no means easy. Still, it is worth the doing of it, and so we essay our best and try to rest content. This might be made more easy were men more prone to believe our presence and comradeship than at present is the case. Were belief more venturesome and lively, and more simple the hearts of men and more trustful, then your spiritual environment would be so much raised in tone and texture as would make our task more readily accomplished, and more pleasure would be given to us in our efforts to aid you. It is easier to speak to the Hindu than to you, because he gives more entrance to spiritual matters than you do. To you here in the West the science of organic things and inorganic things—as you suppose them to be, and wrongly—the things of substance and also the science of exterior organization, which is the business of your state politic, are the things which have seemed of more urgency. And that work you have done very well, and it was a necessary work to do. It was necessary also that your greater efforts be concentrated on that aspect of the world's affairs. But now the thing is almost complete, so fax as this present age is concerned, and we await your turning your mind into a higher channel upward towards the spirit-life. And when this shall have been done, then those who watch for opportunity to speak with men will find it and will not let it pass. That time is well-nigh here, and much that is helpful may be looked for and expected. For

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we have seen that the hardest battle before us is to conquer the materialism of the West, and we rejoice in a hard fight, as you do, and moreover we do not weary so soon. We will not pursue this further now, as you grow weary. So good night, friend, and God's peace to you.

PREPARATION FOR WRITING Thursday, November 22, 1917. 5.18-6.30 p.m. IF you can give your mind to us for a little while, good friend, we will try to explain to you further regarding our method of work and of service to men. You will understand that, these regions being of vast compass and the inhabitants of the spheres uncountable, methods of work vary in different places and according to the evolution of organization proceeding in each. We speak therefore, at this time, but of our own and not of others. This we might do, for one community is given to the study of the proceedings of others, both for edification and also for co-ordination sake. But we will confine ourselves to our own now. There are many things to band for humanity's help which are committed to us as our own peculiar task in the sphere from which we come. These duties are divided and a more especial task allotted to bands of workers. Of these bands we here present, to the number of seven, form what you would call a section or detachment. We have been deputed for this work we have now in hand, which is the giving of a series of messages through Kathleen, your little 51

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friend, and then through you in order. The band to which we belong varies in number from time to time, as new members are initiated or progressed members are called into the sphere next above. At the present time the total number of the band is thirty-six, and we work in detachments of six with a leader, in ordinary, but sometimes more and sometimes less, according to the nature of the work we have to do. The reason why we work in numbers and not singly is not alone for reinforcement of strength and greater power, but also for the combination of influences to be exerted as a blended whole. This we have already explained to you. This blend, to be effective, must harmonize with the personality or personalities through whom we work, otherwise the effect would be of uncertain quality and liable to error of greater or lesser degree. There are services other in kind to which this does not apply, but we leave them for the time and speak of our present work. There are but two personalities we have at present to consider: that of Kathleen and that of yourself. We speak but of two, for our interpreter— you would so name her—is one of us. You two we have had under observation for many months past. First we found you. We came to know you by your writing for the lady, your mother, and her band, and later for my lord Zabdiel.* Can you tell me anything of him? Most assuredly, friend, and so we may at some more fitting time, but not to-night.
* See Notes on page 6.

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We therefore studied and analysed your mentality and what you had stored there in the years of your earth-life, and your soul—that is your spirit-body, so we employ the word here in these writings—and its health, and in what members health required perfecting the more; and also, so far as we could, the quality and the character of the facets of you, the spirit himself. These we put through the spectrum which we use—not much like one of which your scientists speak, but which is applied by us to men and their emanations as your scientists do to a ray of light. Thus were you, unknown to yourself, searched and tested with much care and closeness. We made our diagnosis, carefully writ down in details, and then we compared it with that one which, was made when my lord Zabdiel used you, and also the more crude, but fairly full, record used when first your mother came to you and with her companions impressed on you their thoughts. These three records showed your progress. In some things you have— would you that we tell you of yourself, friend? Yes, please. In some things you had progressed and in others you have fallen back, mostly by reason of the much service of your time and thoughts given to work made by the present war. On the whole balance, I think, we may say we found you a little inferior as an instrument than you proved a few years ago. We agreed that we would be able to use your mentality almost as completely as they did before. But it was in the deeper things you were found to be lacking

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—those which make for spiritual flight and ecstasy, and enable us to work on the imaginative faculty, which is what might be termed an inner clairvoyance, and also on the inner hearing. Nevertheless, we found in you an instrument which might be used and might perchance improve with use, and we were content to use you. Other than this, we discovered that the lines of progress up and down did not meet always in continuous right lines when we placed the three records end to end in sequence. There were discrepancies and those which concerned the two last records, ours and the one before ours, were found to belong to our own account, not to those who made the record for my lord Zabdiel. This is not to be wondered at if you could understand our method employed For your progress, not being all of the same direction, lines intercrossed and became involved one with another, and confusion resulted. But the mistakes were all our own. We will cease here and hope to continue this same subject on the morrow of to-night, for you have had interruptions more than one and much more than enough, and you are not so facile" to use to-night because of them. We must endeavour a better arrangement, if we can, so that such shall be avoided hereafter. We will try. Good night, friend, and God's blessing on the way you go.

PREPARATION (continued) Friday, November 23, 1917. 5.20-6.10 p.m. WE will continue, friend. The chain extending between the composite of our mentality and the pencil and paper by which you hand on this stream of thought-matter to others is now growing towards completion. Having searched in regard to your own personality and traits peculiar, we had to find a link between us and you—one who could receive this same stream of our minds united, refract it, in certain measure transmute it, eliminate from it those elements which in a spectrum are not of utility to the human eye, nor with effect on the retina, and transmit the residue to you. What comes to you from us, therefore, is not the sum total of what we send initially. It is analogous to what you call the visible part of the spectrum, that is, it is all that can be made visible to the human eye—that light made up of the ray—vibrations which are not ultra either end. This in itself is an explanation of many difficulties of communication which seem often so unreasonable at your end of the chain. Now, all laws cohere and have certain points of likeness. It is so in this present. For as that white light by which you see is not unity, but unification, so it is with us. The white light unifies in itself more colours than one which, combining, produce a stream of light of one colour, and that one a neutral. So we, our 55

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minds combining, produce to you, not each its own element separately, but one stream coherent as if from one mind alone. This illusion is helped also by reason of our transmitting this stream through our most excellent little friend and medium of transmission Kathleen. Mark also that these elements must be blended in due proportion, and each in its proper quantity, or the effect would be marred, even as the light would be not white, but tinted, were one colour to predominate over its due proportion in the blend of them all. We are collecting our materials for the pudding, see you, but it is not yet ready for the pot. One very important element we have but lightly treated. We found the little lady Kathleen, and that by reason of her friendship with, and affinity to, one of your own blood. You mean Ruby?* Even so—who else? Your daughter Ruby is to Kathleen both friend and instructor. Very well. We treated her as we treated you, in more or in less, and then we came to a very delicate and pretty problem on which the success of our service and venture greatly hung. We six were men, and Kathleen woman. Now sex dominates much of our science here as it does with you. We could the more easily work through a masculine brain even as these of ours. So, not to hang too heavily on your patience, let us say that we found one whose mind on the one side could correspond with ours, and on the other, with a mind of feminine order. This is the lady who
* See page 5.

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acts the office of interpreter. She is one of us in sphere, and is also one of our band, and, therefore, much practised, and for long in our company. She is in tune with us as one of our band, and in tune with Kathleen as to womanhood. She it is who summarizes and blends the sum of our mentalizing—thinking—and transmits it to you through Kathleen. In these messages you will find that they mostly have the masculine flavour of thought and expression. That is by reason of the predominance of the masculine element in the composition of this detachment of the band. But at times you will be able, perchance, to detect the feminine element in prominence. That is when the subject is such that it is the more convenient that a woman's mind lead on and we poor men but follow, applying our rougher strength to the wheels, and so increasing the dynamical element in the venture. Even Kathleen will at times peep out on her own business, and no doubt will be charming to you, as she is to us, in her naive sweet way. You speak as if you intend this series to be rather a long one. I don't wish to seem ungracious, but that other lot was rather a strain, I found. Nay, friend. Be no more alarmed. We have been at some pains to prepare this enterprise—a minor enterprise it is. You will cease to write for us whenever you will. But I do not think you shall find yourself so willing to give up our company. Already you have found it somewhat pleasurable to come and be near us and to listen to our message. This will continue, as I think it. But, for your comfort, I will

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say that our purpose is none so large as to give what my lord Zabdiel gave, but somewhat which will be not so strenuous in nature but of profit, we hope, nevertheless. Sometimes you say "I" and sometimes "We". I suppose that is because there are two aspects of your message: the one stream and the various elements which go to form the stream, the seven of you speaking sometimes in the plural and sometimes as one. Is that so? It is not a bad explanation, friend, and it is partly true, but in part only. When we say "I" we speak as in the name of the leader* of the whole band of thirty-six, as at present numbered. When I say "We" I am speaking for the moment on behalf of the other six of this detachment. And now there is something for you to think on: how unity and diversity, how the singular and the plural can be so interchangeable and with such ease as in these messages is seen. Friend, there is a depth here which you will fail to sound while in the flesh, try as you will, for it is an outer ring of the innermost sanctuary where is the sublime Mystery of Three in One. ———
* On the Wednesday subsequent to the above Mr. Vale Owen was asked the following question through the planchette used by his wife. "Will George be in Church to-morrow quite by himself? Because Leader likes him to be quiet; not pressure put on him by people coming in to speak with him. I shall be coming to-morrow quite early to prepare him for a willing Leader.—Kathleen." (G.V.O.)—" Do you mean that the Leader of the band who comes with you is willing?" "Yes; we always call him 'Leader'!" Note.—Mr. Vale Owen decided after the above planchette message to attribute all the unsigned messages in this volume as coining from Leader. (See page 105.)

THE BUILDING OF A TEMPLE IN SPHERE FIVE Tuesday, November 27, 1917. 5.25-6.50 p.m. WE have our subject ready to hand, friend, and we ask you to give us your mind, in order that we may tell you of an incident which lately happened in the sphere where we often take our stand in order that we may supervise a work which is there toward. It is the erection of a temple-like building, the purpose of which when completed will be the coordination of energies to the end those in earth-life may receive the more readily our thoughts than heretofore. This building has been slowly coming into being for some time past and is near completion. We will describe, as well as we may, first the material of which this structure is builded, and later the use to which it will be impressed anon. The material is of various colours and of various density. It is not put together in bricks nor blocks as of stone on earth, but grows of a piece in one together. When we had settled on the design of it, we went to the place already chosen where it should stand. That place was a plateau between the lower 59

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and the higher lands of Sphere Five. Note you, that we here in these messages follow the line which Zabdiel laid down in the numbering of the Spheres. Others sometimes adopt that method, and others again form another of their own. But you are familiar, more or less, with this way, and so we use it. And it is, moreover, a more convenient system of gradation than some others, which are often rather complicated, or else too general. My lord Zabdiel chose a kind of mean, and so let it stand here and now. We assembled, therefore, and, after a silence by way of harmonizing our personalities into one endeavour, we concentrated our minds creatively on the foundations, and, gradually and very slowly, raised the stream of our will power from the ground upward and higher until we came to the domelike roof, and there we stayed while the Angel-Lord, the leader of us, gathered the whole of our energies into his own, and gently rounded off our endeavours by diverting the will power stream into space the while we began to stay the current pulsing from ourselves, each one. Now, this may sound strange in your mind, friend. But the reason of it was this: we as a company are well trained, and for long have exercised to act in concord. Nevertheless, in the finishing of the first stage of that fragile structure, it needed that a far more powerful personality control the forces we had set in operation, or the building would have been either marred in shape or wrecked in structure, and our efforts would have been for nought. Further reason we find it hard to come at, so as you should be able to understand our words. Mayhap, in thinking on the

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matter, you will be able to see the reason of it, if not the method. Think it out on the lines of severing of the cord umbilical, and also the other cord vital at death, or the too sudden shutting off the conduit by sluice-gate, or somewhat of a like nature, and you may glimmer what we fain would tell but for lack of words to tell it. So the first stage was the outer building in completeness, but faint in outline and of transient duration. So, resting a space, we set once again to our task, and starting at the foundations as afore, we strengthened each pillar and gate and tower and turret as we ascended slowly, until the dome again was reached. This we did many times, and then left the structure standing, the outer shell alone, but still completed in form. What was lacking was, in principal, depth of colouring, rounding off of the finer ornamentation, and, when this should be done, then the solidifying of the whole, until it should be so strong as to endure many ages. We went for long time and oft, as our forces were renewed, to the process, and most delightful and blissful was the work of beauty. For the Temple was of much majesty, both of proportion and size and also in design—a thing of much beauty, ever growing more beautiful as we gave each of our own to its generation. Buildings are not ever thus raised in the spheres; there are many methods of their erection. But when they are so made, they become not so much the work of the builders as our children much beloved, because they be of our own vitality and of our own idealizing. Such buildings as these also are more responsive to

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the aspirations of those who come after as workers within them, for they have a certain life, not perhaps completely conscious life, but most certainly they are endowed with sensation. I think we might put the matter thus: That while such a house as this shall last, its function is to us, its creators, as the human body is to the spirit who uses it, both waking and sleeping. We are always in touch with the work therein proceeding through its sensitiveness. And in whatsoever spheres, at any future time, the company who created it be dispersed, they always have in that building a focus of communion real and vivid, and the joy of it all is only such as you will know when you attain to creatorship in these spheres, if that be the line of your ascent in the Kingdom of God. Now, when the outer part was done and confirmed, there remained the work of greater detail within the fashioning of the chambers, halls and shrines; the setting of the pillars in colonnades; the waters of the fountains to bring forth in perpetual flow, and many other matters of detail. First we stood without and concentrated on the supporting pillars and walls of partition, and when these were placed, we went within and viewed our handiwork, as you would say, but our hands did not much and our heads and hearts were the builders. So we took up our abode within, and, as you would speak it, daily went about from chamber to chamber, hall and corridor, and fashioned each, little by little, after the original plan and scheme, till all was done and finished off by beautifying the whole. Then what a wonder of delight was it to us, when

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our Great Director descended from his own high realm once again to view the work and to approve our endeavours. Many little details he corrected, mostly by the exercise of his own creative will. But some he bade us finish and remodel for our own training. And there came a day when all was ready, and he returned with another—a mighty Lord, whose status was of sublimity higher than his own, and whose powers were what would in Israel be called as those of Aaron, and of them who followed him; and by the Greeks, Hierophant; and by the Christians, Archpriest. The process he came to enact was what you would name sanctification. Consecration? That word will serve very well. It is what links on a building in any sphere earth or other—to those who dwell in some higher realm for protection, and also for the mediumship of grace and power for those who use the place hereafter. On earth your temples are but a very faint model of these in —our realms. But they are, in esse, of the same purpose and use. In Israel the cloud showed the communion between the two spheres of earth and Jehovah's abode. In Egypt the cloud was also used in early days. In Greek colonies the temples were of less vitality in response, but not without vibrations. Islam seems to lend itself least of all to this special aspect of help and uplifting from these Realms. I have visited the spheres of Islam here and find this particular work of communion and grace is administered in other ways principally. So is it in the

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Churches of the Christ, but in great diversity of degree. In some of the temples consecrated to the Christ His Presence and that of His Servants is all but visible, and I think will shortly become visible to those who will. So on earth you have the principle at work, and it has been for long ages past. But here it is much more powerful in effect and more visible in operation, and very beautiful and fraught with much blessing to those who are climbing the steps of the Heavenly Highlands from sphere to sphere. What is the particular use of this Temple? It is now beginning to be used for the storage of energy into which those will be baptized who come from the different parts of Sphere Five, and also from those spheres below, from time to time. They are immersed in its vibrations of colour, laved in the streams and fountains of water which are within, or swathed in web and woof of music, the while, their natures responding, they are strengthened in the parts where strength is lacking, or enlightened in those other parts where intellect is dimmed. But, mark you, it is not a sanatorium merely, but of, shall I say, higher quality. Its use will be both for body and for personality, to fit the spirit for the journey onward, not alone in bodily strength, but also in intellectual clarity, by which he may the more readily and the more greatly profit by the knowledge it is his to come at. But also himself is attuned to those whose love and life are focussed on that Glorious Temple, and who await the pilgrims coming to their own higher places.

THE MINISTRY OF HEAVEN Do all have to pass through that Temple in their ascent upward?

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Nay, not all, friend, but most of those of Sphere Five. It is a sphere where some, nay many, stay long. It is a critical sphere where attunement has to be made in a man's various traits and all unharmony done away. A difficult sphere for many to pass, and where many delays are constant to be found. It is therefore that we raised the Temple, for the need was great. It is still new, and we have yet to find how it will serve, and doubtless, as experiment continues, modifications in detail will be made. But some there are who come and look round them and find nought for them here to learn or to compose within themselves. These quiet, strong ones pass onward, blessing as they go, and the way they take is brighter for their passing; and those who are at hand are gladdened and take courage from the sight of them. It might be otherwise on earth. But those who come so far aloft as to Sphere Five are of no mean grace, and to such the beauty of a spirit more beautiful and strong than they but adds grace to their grace, and certifies to them the reality of the Brotherhood of All.

THE SIGN OF THE CROSS— ITS EFFECT IN HELL

Wednesday, November 28, 1917. 5.20-6.45 p.m. MAKE the sign of the Cross when you feel at all doubtful of our presence with you. It will help you both to realize our protection and your own freedom from all intrusion of those who would prevent us by coming in between. Not bodily, but by projection of their thought-influences which make a mist to obscure. You will mind, friend, that in degree they come nearer to you than we do, and have there a vantage ground which we want. How does this sign help? Because of the reality it signifies. When you ponder on it, much is wrought by signs, not because these signs have aught of dynamic value in and of themselves, but by reason of the potency of those persons or forces they represent. For example? For example, the letters which you are at the moment writing are but signs, yet they who read them with sympathy and love will lay by a store of fitness in themselves to progress the more readily when they come here, than had they not seen these 66

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signs at all. The name of a king is but a sign of him for whom it stands. Yet he who lightly uses it upon his lips, as also he who disregards a command written under that name, is not lightly to be dealt with in any orderly state. Otherwise the progress of that state would be much hindered because of the disorder and lack of unity ensuing. Names are, therefore, had in reverence, not alone in economies of earth, but in these heavenly realms also. For he who names a great Angel Lord compromises that person with whatever work he has afoot to do. This is so ordained; and the highest of all, His Name, must be had in deepest reverence as in your own sacred law it is also enjoined. The Sign of the Cross is but one of the signs of Holiness which we know and have in past and present made known to the children of earth. But it is, at the present stage of evolution, the sign more powerful than any else, for it is the sign of life from the Living One, poured out for earth's progression. And as other ages have been periods of God manifest by other—write it, friend, do not hesitate Christs of God His Majesty, so this age is a peculiar of that Christ of God Who, coming last of that high band, is Prince of All, Son both of God and Man. They, therefore, who use that sign use His Sign-manual writ in blood, which is the Life, and before it even those our brethren who do not own His Sovereignty nor understand His Love must bow, because they know and fear His power. Even those in the hells, then, know His Sign. Is that so?

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Most truly and terribly so. Let me for a few moments dwell on this matter, for there be many, as we know, who on earth do not reverence that sign overmuch, because they do not understand. I have been in the darker regions times and oft, but when I go there—I have not just of late been there, having other business toward—I use that sign most sparingly, knowing the agony it flings upon those poor souls who have agony within themselves more than a little already. Will you tell me of any instance in which you wed that sign? I was once sent to search for a man who had, strangely enough, been brought, on passing from earth, into the second sphere. But he was not fitted to dwell there and gravitated to the spheres below. I will not pause to explain this matter in particular. It is rare that such a thing comes to pass—not unknown. Such mistakes are made here and there by guides of lesser knowledge. Their zeal outruns their powers of discernment and of penetration, and, when a difficult and entangled personality comes over, mistakes are sometimes made. I descended into the spheres of gloom, therefore, and when somewhat conditioned thereto I began my search. I went from city to city, and at last I came to a gate where I felt his presence within. You will perhaps not readily understand that I have but just given you. Let it pass, you will one day. Passing within I came by the murky glimmering of light prevailing to a square wherein a large crowd was gathered. The air seemed ruddy of hue, like a smith's working-house, flickering

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and faltering as the crowd were uplifted or depressed, grew angry or grew weary. Standing on a stone block was the man I sought. He spoke to the people in a harsh voice earnestly, and I stood behind them and listened awhile. He was telling them of the Redemption and of the Redeemer—not by name, mark you, but by allusion. Twice or thrice I saw the name upon his lips, but it never came forth, for whenever it happened there, I saw a wave of pain sweep over his face and his hands gripped inward on themselves, and he became silent a space and then proceeded. But of Him of Whom he spoke no one there could doubt the Personality. For a long time he urged them repent, and told them what the lack of spirit-leaning had done by him, bringing him down, Willy-nilly, from his short glimpse of Heaven and light into the thick gloom of these underworlds of pain and remorse. What he was urging them to do was this: he said he had come hither with open eyes, and had marked the way well enough to go back upon his steps and reach the light at length. But the way was long and of painful ascent and very gloomy. He therefore called upon them to be willing to make their departure with him, and all together, as a flock of sheep, for company and mutual aid, and they would come to rest at the end. Only let them not go astray by the roadside, for ravines and rank forest lands they must pass beside, and those who should stray might lose the track for ages and wander lonely whither he could not tell, but always in darkness and peril from the cruel who lurked in those regions to wreak their

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frenzy on any who came within their power. So let them follow the Banner he would bear before them and they should then have nought to fear. For the Banner he would make for them would be a symbol of great strength to them for the way. That is the burden of his speaking to them, and they seemed not without a wistful readiness of response. He stood there silent some time, and then there came a voice from one in the crowd who cried: "What banner do you speak of? What arms will you emblazon on it, so that we know whose leadership we follow?" Then the man who stood upon the stone in the middle of the square lifted his hand on high and tried to force it downward to make a line, but could not. He tried to do this many times, but his arm seemed palsied whenever he tried to move it downward deliberately. Then, at length—it was a very painful sight to me who knew him—he heaved a sigh loud and full of tears of agony, and his hand fell of itself and hung limp by his side. Soon he started, and stood erect once again with determination on his face. He had realized that he had made a vertical line through the air, and lo, there shone along the path which his falling hand had taken a faintly luminous streak standing before him. So with much effort and caution he once more raised his hand, stretched away from the line and somewhat above the middle of its length, and sought to approach and cross through it, but this again he could not. I could read his mind and what was in it. He was

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trying to give them the Ensignment for the banner they should follow—the Sign of the Cross. So in pity I pressed forward, and at last stood by his side. I traced first the vertical line still visible. I traced it slowly, and as I did so it shone out with a brightness which lighted the square and the faces of the crowd assembled. Then I made the cross-piece, and there it shone before us, and we, hidden by its luminous radiance, stood behind unseen. But I heard a wild cry and a great wailing and looked out again. The Cross had grown more dim, and I saw the multitude were prostrate and writhing in the dust of the great square, seeking to hide their faces and blot out the memory of that sign. It was not that they hated it—these were come through that stage of remorse—but it was the very progress they had made towards repentance that caused their present pain. Remorse was blending into sorrow for sin and ingratitude in these, and that progress added bitterness to their sorrow. The man beside me did not grovel as the others, but knelt down with his face covered with his hands, and his hands on his knees—bowed double with his agony of repentance. Now I saw I had been too much in haste, and what I had meant for their comfort had been their undoing, so I had much labour to restore them once again to their proper mood of calm on which I might, taking the office of my friend upon myself, begin to play the tune he had begun. At long last I was successful in my task, but I made my resolve, then and there, to be more restrained in the use of that

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potent sign in these dark realms hereafter, lest I should cause more pain to those who already had so much of their own to bear. You called the speaker your friend Yes, he was my friend. He and I had taught philosophy in the same university when in earth-life. He was of a right life, and not without generous impulse on occasion. Brilliant, however, rather than devout, and—well, he is on the upward way now, and doing much good among his fellows. They had their banner after all, as I sought to tell you. But it was not of very excellent workmanship—merely a couple of tree-branches, much twisted and gnarled, as trees grow in these dim quarters—but they strung them together and called it a cross, but the cross-piece tilted sometimes up and sometimes down, and it was grotesque but for the earnestness Of them and what it meant to them; for it stood to them for the power it signified, and for Him from Whom that power flowed, and so to them it wag indeed a Sign most Sacred and to be followed bravely, but in silence and in awe. And the strip of red cloth which they tied about the intersection flowed out like a stream of blood. And they followed where they saw it go before them on the long, long journey, often weary and footsore, but ever towards the Uplands where they knew they would find the light. Thank you. Before we stop I would like to ask you a question. That temple you spoke of last night. In the first part you said the purpose of it was to help people in the earth-sphere. But you afterwards mentioned a

THE MINISTRY OF HEAVEN purpose quite different? I am not quite satisfied. Could you, please, explain?

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What we said, friend, was true enough, although not so clear as we would have said it. Your mind was somewhat heavy last night. And now also you are fatigued. We will explain what was in our mind when next you sit for us, so God's blessing and good night.

THE TEMPLE IN SPHERE FIVE OBSTACLES TO COMMUNICATION Thursday, November 29, 1917. 6.20-6.45 p.m. WE promised to explain to you your difficulty of the Temple. There is little of difficulty really. You will mind we said that it was for the purpose of service to be rendered to those of Sphere Five and the spheres inferior. Included in those is that of earth, which is not diverse from what you distinguish by the name spiritual spheres, except in its outer manifestation. The influences projected from that building go far through the spheres downward and into that of earth. We were not explicit very much, not because of our haste, but your limitations, both of leisure and of receptivity, the one greatly dependent on the other. For they who lack leisure for quietness and peace are not able to respond to the thoughts of us who come from Realms so different, and coming, bring with us, even to the verge of your plane, much of what calm strength we had in us when we started on our journey. Not all of it is dispersed from us into the spheres as we come hitherward; and of what remains we always seek to impart to those of earth who respond to our seeking, 74

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and who need so greatly what peace we have to give. When we, too, become deplete of our grace and of the power to impart it to you, what little is left to us, then we return homeward to replenish the cistern in the free, clear air of the Heavens of God, from which all strength and peace go forth. This has bearing on the matter of the Temple, for that is one of its uses: to be a reservoir in which shall be accumulated such power and blessing from the higher realms for use as occasion serves to those of earth and the spheres next in order of ascent. As the work shall develop, other uses for it will also be found, and coordinated with the work presently afoot there. Now you have been hindered in coming to us to-night, and before the next engagement with your people shall take you away once again, the time is not very long. So we will be brief to-night and say but a few words more, and that on a matter which you do not quite clearly understand. When we come to earth, we children of the Heavens, we have much difficulty at times to get into touch with those who await us and listen for our coming. You yourself are an example of this. For oft we have noticed you almost awake to our presence near you, and, having listened, end in doubt at best, and sometimes you conclude it is but your own fanciful imaginings and not the breathing of your spirit friends you feel and hear. Now, the reason of these failures on our part to give, and on yours to receive, is chiefly the lack of courage to believe. You have thought of yourself that you have this courage, and

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in some things it is true. But in this matter of spirit communion you are often too fearful of error to be useful in the work of truth. It is not too much to say if we put it thus. At all times, whenever you feel us near you, that is the effect of some cause. The cause may or may not be such as you desire or as you feel you discern. But cause there is, and if you at such times will but be quiet and listen, then the nature of the cause will grow further clear. It may be you think a certain friend is at hand, when it is not he, but another. But who it is will be made clear in the process of the transmission of his thoughts. So, when you feel yourself to be cognizant of some one near you, cease, as far as you may, from doubts, and entirely from fears of error. Receive what is given to you, and on the matter so received sum up your judgment of the affair. No more now, for you have to go to other work. May our Father be with you in it and in all you do from day to day.

THE TEMPLE IN SPHERE FIVE REPAIRING A DEFECTIVE TOWER Friday, November 30, 1917. 5.20-6.25 p.m. WHATSOEVER is beautiful is always true, and that is one of the laws which stand out in front of others in these bright realms. Conversely also, whatever is ugly and ill-favoured in form outwardly, will, on closer study, be found lacking in the grace of truth. Truth, as we use that word, means that which is consonant with the Mind of the Ultimate Whom you call God and Father. All that flows from Him is orderly and in harmony with the highest and fairest aspirations of us, His offspring. And what answers to this quality is beauty, for beauty is that which pleases; and harmony is a garment of love which is always pleasing to them who in their nature respond to love's endearments. It is only those in whom there is some tincture of love's opposite that have no relish for such a feast as Love alone can spread. And, mind you, Love is not alone of God, but God Himself. So all the beauty of landscape and of the waters and the comeliness of a face or form we know to be such a manifestation of Him from Whom they derive 77

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their beauty, and, as truth is only what is in concord with the thoughts of Him, so we say that whatsoever is beautiful is true, and whatever is true must manifest itself in beauty. It is where some cross-current of opposing forces enters into the mainstream of God His Life and power, that the water there becomes fraught with murk and mire. This is as true of humanity as of things in concrete, for disharmony in a family or in a State is not of its own origin, but has its rise from that far source of power which is erratic from the purpose and will of the One Supreme. But so wonderful is He in His operative energy, that these things He wills to turn to good account in total, and also to extract from each such opposing manifestation of His Life-force wrongly used, some help for the betterment of the race both of men and angels. I don't know whether I have got this right anyway, could you, please, try to give me something a little more explicit and less involved in expression? We will try, friend, to describe to you a little more the Temple of which we have already written. We can use your inner sight in this as well as your hearing, and that will be simpler for us to give and for you to take a hold of. To-night you are not quite so quiet in mind as we would wish. There was one corner of the Great Tower which we could not understand. The Tower stood on a corner of the building, and was a foursquare Tower. One of the corners was not as the other three. But,

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strangely enough, we could none of us, comparing them, tell what was amiss and in what it was diverse from those others. As I looked at them it seemed to my mind as if the defective corner was in shape and proportion as its fellows. But when I looked at the others, and then back at it again, going round the base from time to time, it always struck me as not in harmony with them. I will not dwell on this, but tell you at once what was found wanting. It was not one of our architects who discovered the nature of the defect, although we had several to look at the tower. It was one from a sphere above, who was passing through Sphere Five, who explained to us the matter. He was one of those whose business it is to descend into the darker realms on occasion when any certain locality is seething so much with dissension and tumult as to affect painfully those in the spheres next in advance and adjoining. Such effervescence throws off a kind of distressful influence which, rising up to the sphere above, hinders what progress is there proceeding, and pulls back those not very robust spirits whose lot is cast in that dim place, so that they lose heart and cease for the time being from their struggle to continue their way out of the gloom toward the light of the upper spheres. This is not so powerfully felt by them as to bring upon them the discouragement of despair, except the tumult below them be of extraordinary vehemence. When that happens, then the one I have spoken of with others descends and soothes the poor restless ones into such stupor that their distress does not affect those who have won a little way ahead in ascent.

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It was because he was, by much and long service, become skilled in this business that he was able to help us in our perplexity of the Tower. Having very carefully examined and tested all four walls, he went to a long distance away, and, ascending a hill, he turned and sat down and looked very steadfastly and for a long time, at the far-off Tower. Then he came back to us, and, assembling us in the plain, he told us what was amiss in some such words as these: "My brothers, when you were building this Temple, you left this Tower until all the other halls were formed. Then you gave all your energy to the making of this Tower so strong as it was possible for you to do out of the strength you had. But there was one thing you overlooked in your eagerness for the finishing of it. You had taken no care that an equal number should be on all four sides of it. And also, when the Tower was raised then, from far away, the light, striking on its uppermost part, deflected the wills of those who stood below, and they left the parts not so brilliantly in the light exposed to whatever currents of will power should at the moment be passing. Now, at that particular time there was a band of us coming from service in the regions dim and grey, where we had found much ado to achieve the purpose for which we were sent there; so that, passing over this plane, we were much depleted of our strength, and gathered it as we proceeded. So it came about that, because of the unequal force applied to the Tower on its four sides, without our seeking to do so, we absorbed some of the vitality from that part which was least protected. This is the corner which

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is defective, and you will find the defect not in the shape or proportion, but in the texture of the material of which the corner is made. Look again, this time with the knowledge I have given you, and you will detect a darker tint where the damage lies than in the other parts of the Tower. That is because the vitality we extracted left it lacking in lustre, and therefore its appearance is deformed, while in itself it conforms in shape to the other corners." This we found was true and the remedy simple, for we gathered the same band of builders as we had afore, and set to work again. And, as the energy streaming from our wills was directed on those darker parts, they grew lighter in hue and took on an equal sheen with the other parts, and, when they were exactly matched, we ceased, and, on looking on it, we found it quite right and in perfect harmony. You will see, friend, that what had done the mischief was in reality the influence brought to bear, all unwittingly, upon our still uncompleted work by those whose vitality had been expended in the darker spheres. No evil is positive in nature, but only negative. It is the negation of good. All that is good is strong. It was the strength of these good angels which had been absorbed by those who lacked strength in the region to which they had made their way. Re-accumulating strength as they passed by us they, by their unconscious action, brought to bear on our work what was really the influence of those darker spheres, and the result was lack of harmony, which means lack of beauty, which brings us back

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to our first word, like a cat curled before the hearth with its head to its tail in a circle. And with that picture of contentful repose we leave you with our blessing.

METHODS OF COMMUNICATION Monday, December 3, 1917. 5.25-6.20 p.m. WHEN we come to earth, friend, we say one to another by the way that we are going into the land of mist and twilight, that we may, in the interior world which we find there, shed abroad somewhat of our light and warmth. For, indeed, that these be much needed we are able to sense, even in those far spheres from which we come. You may wonder by what process of chemistry or dynamics this is made possible to us; and, indeed, it would not be possible for us to explain the method in detail. But we are able to give you a somewhat epitomised account of this affair, and so we will, if it would be of interest to you, and those who shall come to read what we give to you. Thank you. Yes, I should like to hear your explanation of it. Then we will try to make it as simple as we can. You will readily understand that the first and grand necessity of communication is already to hand—that of a universal principle which bathes us all, you and us, in one and the same ocean. I speak of spirit life, and force and energy. This spirit life is to you as it 83

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is to us, and as it is also to those above us, so far as we are able from this sphere to stretch our minds in reasoning and imagination before us. For that spirit-life is the cause of the life-phenomena, obtaining in the sphere of earth, you will readily consent to. As you progress upwards this coupling of cause and effect becomes more emphatic in each sphere as you ascend. It is, therefore, reason to conclude that this constant intensification proceeds into the higher spheres of all. It may there be so sublime as to find perfection in unity. But we think that in such Unity will be found, by such as are able to penetrate into those High Places, the principle of cause and effect in its most intimate form of all. So when we speak of the one ocean of spirit-energy, we are touching on what to us is no mere speculative theory, but a tangible fact to be taken and used in any process of communion we should put our hands to it to devise. That Is the first thing to realize. The second is this: As you proceed away from earth upwards there is no void between any two spheres. We know of the abyss of your Holy Book. But that is no void. There is a bottom to it. Also, it is not between your earth and our sphere, but lies aside in the off-way, and comes not into the line of ascent. Each sphere as you progress is blended into the next by a kind of borderland. So there is no shock to those who pass from one to another. Albeit, you will mark that each sphere is distinct in itself. Nor is the borderland between two spheres a neutral land. It partakes of the qualities of both. There is, there fore, no void, but a very real and continuous gradation

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all the way. From these two premises you will deduce quite comfortably the fact that we are in direct communication with you potentially. Now we must apply ourselves to explain how this medium of communion is put to use. There are many windows to this house, and every one is used. But there are three which serve to evidence the rest. There is the method of continuous posting, wherein those workers nearest you hand on messages and reports to those in the sphere above, and they continue the operation until the message comes to its destination where it is to be appropriately dealt with. This is done swiftly—and yet in the flight of any message through the spheres it is sifted in each and that extracted which is proper to the workers of that particular sphere to undertake its answer. Also, messages from workers and prayers from the earth are filtered and made suitable for transmission into higher realms. Were this not done their earth-grossness would weigh them down so heavily that what was in them of sublimity would not be competent to rise and come to the sphere where it is appropriate it should find destination. I will not pursue this further—'tis a bare outline I give, but I must go on to the next method. This we may call the direct method. There axe those of you who have guides in the spheres for special work and guidance. Some of these guides are very high and bright angels, and their proper home is far above those spheres bordering on the earth. They may not ever be coming down to those of their

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charges, for, high as they be, they are not all powerful, and to descend to earth is expensive of energy, by reason of the necessity of conditioning themselves to the spheres through which they pass, and in each sphere there is a new condition for them to achieve until they come to earth. This is done from time to time, and, indeed, not seldom, when such work is afoot as to warrant such undertaking. But we are ever careful of waste, who have so much to do for others' help, and do not spend lavishly, even of that which is infinite in its supply. We can do our work better, as a rule, by the method of direct communion. In order to establish this we devise a kind of telephone or telegraph—to use your own speech—a cord of vibrations and pulsations between us and you, and it is constructed of the blended vitality of the guide and the guided. I use here words I like not overmuch, but I cannot find other in your brain to use, so they must stand. I refer to such words as it construct," "vitality," and such as these. Sympathetic intercourse is by this means rendered continuous and sustained. It is like the system of nerves between the body and the brain: it is always potentially operative, whenever need arises of help to be given. Whenever the charge turns to his far-away guide in thought or longing, that guide himself is at once aware and gives answer in the way he judges best. There is a third method, but more complicated than either of these I have summarized. It may,

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perhaps, be given such a name as the universal, which is bad enough, but must serve. In the first process the stream of thought passing from earth to spheres more or less remote is handled and modified in each sphere as it travels on its way, like a continuous post across continents—only there is no change of horses nor pause on the way. In the next, the line is ever open and ever charged, like a telephone with electricity, and is direct in a line from the man on earth to the guide in his own proper sphere. In the third the process is distinct from either of these. It is that by which every thought and action of man is reported in the heavens, and may, by those competent to do so, be read from time to time. These records are real and permanent, but the aspect of them and their method of constructure it is not possible for us to explain. Words have been very strained to serve in the first two descriptions. Here they fail in total. I will say but this, that every thought of every man has a universal application and effect. Call it ether, or what you will, the fluid which fills these spheres is of so sensitive and so compact and continuous a substance that if you touch it with a sigh at one end of the universe the effect is registered at the other end. Here, again, "end" is not a proper word to use, for in the sense you use it there is no significance here. But that of which I now try so lamely to come at, so that I may show somewhat of its wonder to you, is that which the Saviour Christ had in mind when, miser than I, He did not name it with any name,

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but spoke of it only as it is found to be in operation thus: "Not a hair of your head is hurt, not a fledgling falls from its nest, but the Father of All is notified."

THE SACRAMENT OF THE BODY AND BLOOD OF THE CHRIST Tuesday, December 4, 1917. 5.20-6.30 p.m. BE content, friend, to write what we are able to put into your mind, and do not question that it comes from us. For, on the one part, we keep a somewhat close hold on you when you write thus for us, and, on the other part, we disallow others taking up our tale on their own behalf. We are enabled to do this by the long preparation of you and of ourselves before ever we made known to you our wish by the help of our little friend Kathleen. To-night we would speak to you on the matter of the Sacraments, which are in use in Christendom, and which should be of much note and concern to those who profess the Name of the Christ their Master. That of His Body and Blood is the one which is continuous in the life of a Christian. It has many phases, both of help given and also in its teaching, and on that Sacrament we wish to say something now. First as to its founding: You will remember from your records remaining that there is much more left unwritten than that which has come to you down the ages past. A most 89

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cursory reading will show this. Also those accounts, in essentials agreeing each with the others, are not clear as to the lesser points. You must know that these records are but a few of many. The others have been destroyed, or have been lost for the time being, and will one day find their way into the light of day once again. We have all the records here and have studied them, and on that study we now base our words. The Master Jesus was about to change His state from the incarnate to the discarnate. Knowing this, He, being assembled with the Twelve, gave to them a Rite of Remembrance and of Communion by which they and those who should follow them might be able from time to time perpetually to intensify their contact with Him, and so draw from Him that Life of which Himself is the reservoir. Cast your mind back to the three modes of communion which we have given you, and you will be able to see that so sensitive is the quivering and pulsating life-stream coming down from Him to you that the very slightest disturbance in the system of vibrations, obtaining in their own special and peculiar quality throughout that radius which is His Kingdom, will cause an effect at the Centre and Source of it of so manifest a nature as to ensure some immediate response. For there is nothing in the economy of your earth-sphere of such enormous intensity and momentum that we may apply as a type by which to make in any way clear our meaning. It must satisfy you and us that we remind you that the greater the velocity of any series of particles in motion, the greater the disturbance

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That is what we would imply in speaking of this stream of vital force proceeding from the Father, arrested in the Christ, tinctured with His quality of life, and projected outward in radiating waves towards the circumference and boundary of His Kingdom. Such a disturbance is created by the wilful offering of the Bread and Wine, with invocation of words, in that Rite of Communion which He gave. On the elements displayed before the assembly there is, at the words of prayer, directed this vital stream, and they are interpenetrated with the Life of Him and become, as He said, Body and Blood of Him. That form of prayer you use is not alone of the nature of invocation, but also is the assent of those assembled to the receiving of Life from Him. For without such assent no blessing is ever thrust upon men. It matters not if the assent be silent. It is the spirit which is the source of those responsive pulsations which leap forth to meet the flowing of His Life earthward and, meeting this Christ-stream, like those who came from Salem to meet Him when He rode to the city over Olivet, are commingled and, by reason of the greater momentum of that stream set forward by Him, are turned back and together, as one stream, they fall plashing upon the congregation from which the initial impulse of pleading came. So the blessing is threefold. First, the communion of spirit with Spirit— that of the worshippers with their Master and Lord. Second—, the quickening into greater health and vigour of their spiritual covering,

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the soul. And third, the natural effect of those operations, still proceeding outward, namely, the transfusing of the inner vitality into the overclothing, which is the body material. This is the phase which we may name the vitalizing or quickening of the whole Body of the Christ in its singular members, each and each, by the communicating of the Life of Him from the Source and Centre through the mass to the circumference. There is another aspect of this Sacrament we will treat of at this time, but with brevity. For it were not of any use to endeavour to give you a full account of its significance in whole. You would not understand our words that we should use, and there are none of your own which would serve us. This thing reaches far beyond where tongues of earth are remembered, and is spoken of, in its inner mystery, only in those forms of language proper to the Spheres far removed in sublimity, and near that of the Christ. As He said, those two common things of earthly origin, the Bread and the Wine, do come to be His Body and His Blood. They are therefore a part of Him Who spoke those words. Men have asked how this could be when on that first occasion of their utterance Himself was present in Body of flesh and bones and blood. But yet, every man—without ceasing, all his life, and sustainedly—does communicate of himself to things without himself. No coat he wears but, flung aside, is marked with the impress of his personality. No thing he touches, no house he inhabits, but he leaves his quality there indelible to be read by those who are so endowed.

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As He gave of His vitalizing force to the sick and halt in Judaea and Galilee, as He breathed of His spirit power upon the Apostles and they became inspired of His Life, so upon the Bread and Wine did He pour of the life-stream of Himself and they did in verity become His Body and His Blood. And so it is to-day. For He did not offer so great a thing to snatch it away so soon as that meal was ended and His Body given to the Tree. No, the Source of that vital river operative on the Bread and Wine or on the persons of the Apostles or on the bodies of the multitude was not that Body of flesh He wore for so short a time and then laid it by like a cloak past wearing. Nor was it the Body of spirit substance, through which it did but flow as through a conduit from the Reservoir into the cisterns of a town. But it was the Spirit Himself, the Christ, Who was and is the Source, and that, too, whether in the Body of flesh or out of it. For that little matters in things of spirit force and power, except by way of manifestation. The thing manifested is unaltered in itself whatever form the manifestation take. So it is true to say that the Bread and Wine at the last meal of theirs together, at His wish and will, became depository of His life-force, and so were made His Body and His Blood. And so, far from the present lack of that Body material hindering now a similar operation on His part, it would almost be true to say that now the way is made more easy and direct by the absence of one medium. At least, it is entirely true to say that such absence of the Body of flesh

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forms no hindrance to the flow of life from Him to these elements of Bread and Wine. When therefore the Ministrant, the Priest, takes up the consent of the congregation and, laying the Body and Blood upon the Board, pleads the Sacrifice of Him Who lives to-day very highly exalted, he in essential places his hand upon the bosom of his Lord and, looking into those Realms which are the abode of Angels, and of Angels who rule, looks towards the Father's face and pleads the Love and allegiance of His Son for poor humanity's sake that they be made all beautiful as He. And if he be of simple mind and in heart a little child of the Kingdom he shall feel within that Breast beneath his hand the quiet strong beating of the one constant Heart in Christendom to-day, and shall know that what his weakness will not bear to do shall have reinforcement of the Life which wells within, and that what pleading is his with the Father goes not unaided into that bright Sphere of awful purity, and holiness so still, but as He promised so He keeps at hand to perform, and out of His Heart goes forth a sighing prayer, and your prayers are acceptable for His sake.

THE SACRAMENT OF MARRIAGE Wednesday, December 5, 1917. 5.15-6.10 p.m. WHAT we gave you last night, friend, had reference in chief to that one Sacrament which stands pre-eminent among its fellows. We now will tell you of some of those lesser ones and what to us their meaning seems to be and their efficacy in the lives of those who have adopted the Christ their Leader and Sovereign. We use here the word "Sacrament" not in the narrow ecclesiastical sense cut down to its littlemost, but in the way we should use it here in these Realms where we are able to view the outgoings of power and vitality from a standpoint nearer their Source. We speak first to you of Marriage as of the union of two personalities in creative faculty. The people take it as quite in the ordinary course of things that sex should be, and also that sex should be complete in blend of male and female. But it was not of essential necessity that this should be, humanity might have been hermaphrodite. But far away beyond the beginnings of this present eternity of matter, when the Sons of God were evolving form, in its ideal conception, they took counsel together and afterwards 95

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decreed that one of the laws which should guide their further work should be, not so much a division of the race into two sexes, as you and earth philosophy have it, but rather that sex should be one of the new elements which should enter into the further evolution of being when being should shortly enter into matter, and so take form. Personality was before form was. But form endowed personality with individuality, and so the element personality, by evolution of concrete form, issued in its complement of persons. But as from one element persons came, so sex is unity composed of two species. Man and woman form one sex, as flesh and blood form one body. So far as we can penetrate, the reason for this decision on the part of those High Ones was in order that humanity should know itself the better. It is a great mystery and we do not possess the key to the whole of it even here. But we understand that in the creation of the two elements, male and female, the process was made more simple by which the human race might understand at last the element of Unity, out of which it came and towards which it will once more turn when it has fully entered on the upward way from matter towards spirit. Two great principles which are included in the Unity of Godhead were made to appear as two separate things in order that those two principles might be studied in detail by those who were not competent to study them as One. e two principles might be studied in detail by those who were not competent to study them as One. But when the male considers the female he is but getting at a more clear understanding Of a part of himself, and so when the female reasons on the male. For as they were not separate in the eternities

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of development which went before this present eternity of matter and form, so the two elements shall, become one again in those eternities which shall come after. In order that the essential unity of being obtaining in those far reaches behind us be carried forward into those which are still to come, it was necessary that both elements be included in each individual who should form an item of the whole race. So marriage was evolved, and in marriage we have the turning-point of the destiny of the race. From the time when, from the Heart of the Ultimate came forth the first fiat of that movement which has resulted in a series of aeons of development, the one keynote of the whole has been a development into, diversity, until there came forth, one after another, into the ocean of being the principles of personality—and individuality and form. The last and most extreme act of diversity was the creation of two aspects, of the faculty of reproduction, which you call sex. That was the outmost point of extension of diversity—in principle and act. Then came the reflex impulse given to the onward urge of evolution when the two were blended into one again and the first step retraced towards Unity of Being, which is God. So of the blend of the two elements, spiritually as bodily, there is born a Third Who within Himself unites these two elements in His one Person. The Lord Jesus was the perfect Son of Humankind and His nature, spiritually considered, is a blend of the male and female virtues in duly equal parts.

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Bodily also this great law is true, for upon his breast the man bears the twin insignia of his erstwhile womanhood, and physiologists will tell you that a like correspondence is not wanting in the other half which, with himself, makes one whole unit of humanity. By this experience of the two in unity, the perfected human being, ages hence, in other higher worlds of onward press towards the state of Being consummate, man shall have come to the knowledge how it is possible in loving other and giving to other by denying of self he is loving himself the more and but the more bountifully giving to himself by that same denying of self, and that the more he hate his own life the more he will find it in those bright spheres eternal—you know Who taught it, and He did not speak of a strange thing nor of some principle on trial. You and we, friend, are still learning this very sublime lesson, and far ahead lies our road before we learn it in its fulness. But already He has attained.

THE SACRAMENT OF DEATH Thursday, December 6, 1917. 5.15-6.20 p.m. WHAT we have already written, friend, we have written in brief and not expansively. For it were not possible to tell you all even of what we might, for that would serve only to make the bulk the bigger, and also would do disservice by leaving you not enough room for the exercise of your own mind in penetrating into the real meaning of things. We give you just enough corn to make your cake. If the eating be found to be good, then grow more corn for yourself, thresh it, grind and knead it and you shall the longer retain what you thus get, to the larger benefit of yourself and others who shall read what we have written. So to our further words. When we said that marriage was the turning-point of the evolutionary cycle of being we spoke of the matter in mass and not in detail. Now we turn to detail more especially and speak of that outcome of marriage, the human unit, male or female as the case may be. He is born, you will note, of fourfold element. There is the male and female element of the sire, and also the female and male element of the dame. In 99

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the father the dominant expression is that of masculinity, in the mother that of femininity. By the incorporation of these four elements, or rather four aspects of one element, or more nearly still these two aspects and two other sub-aspects of one thing, in the one person of the offspring, there is first multiplied and then unified once again some of these variations which are the outer expression of the inner principle of sex. So he begins to live his own life, this child of the eternities past, and to look forward to the eternities of the future. You are waiting for us to speak of Baptism, and its complement the Laying on of Hands. Free your mind, friend, and let us go on our own way with you and, by your good leave, we will perchance be able to help you better than did you lay down the course we should sail. We have our chart all pricked and ready. So write what we give you and do not be getting ideas into your mind of what is afoot to-night or on the morrow. We will that your mind be free that we may have no headlands to round nor straits through which to pick our way precariously. We shall do better on our own course, and not so well on yours. Sorry. Yes, I was certainly expecting you to speak of Baptism next. You seem to be rather erratic in your order of the Sacraments—Holy Communion, then Marriage. Well, sir, which is the next one, please? The Sacrament of Death, friend, which surprises you. Well, what would your life be without surprises, for these are as seasons of the year and serve to

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emphasize the fact that inertia is not progressive. And progression is the one grand object of the Universe of God. You would not have given such a name to Death. But we look upon Birth and Death both as very real Sacraments. If Marriage be rightly so named, then Birth follows naturally in the same group, and Death is but Birth progressed into consummation. In birth the child comes forth out of darkness into the light of the sun. In death the child is born into the greater light of the Heavens of God—no more, no less. In birth the child is enfranchised in the Empire of God. In Baptism he is incorporated in the Kingdom of God's Son. By death he is made free of those Realms for which he has been trained for service in that part of the Kingdom resident on earth. In birth he becomes a man. In Baptism he realizes his manhood in taking service under the banner of his King. By death he goes forth on wider service, those who have done well as veterans tried and found loyal and good, those who have done better as officers to command, and those who have done very well as Lords to rule. Death therefore ends nothing but carries forward what has been begun and, as it stands between the earth phase of life and the life of the Spheres, so it is a sacred thing enshrining a transaction blended of both, and so a Sacrament, as we use and understand that word. So we have spoken of Baptism, after all, and , if we do not dwell on it, believe me, it is not because we do not understand its great moment in the career of the

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servant of the Christ, but it is because we have other things of which to tell you that we do not dwell on that which you the better understand. So, a few more words on the Sacrament of Death, and we will cease for this time, for we note you have other work toward. When a man comes near that hour when he shall change his sphere, there occurs in his being a reassembly of such elements as have been gathered and engendered during his life on earth. These are the residual particles of those experiences through which he has passed—of hope and motive and aspiration and love and other expressions of the true value of the man himself within. These are dispersed through the economy of his being, and are ambient about him also without. As the change comes near they are all drawn together and gathered up into his soul, and then that soul is carefully drawn from the material envelope and stands free, as being the body of the man for the next phase of progress in the Heavens of God. But death sometimes comes of shock and in a moment of time. Then the soul is not so far completed as to be of full health and strong to go forward. It is necessary to delay the onward progress until those same elements have been withdrawn from the body material and duly incorporated into the body spiritual. Indeed, until this has been done well and fully the man is not well-born into the spirit. It is like a birth before the full time into the earth life, when the child is like to be weakly, and only gradually to grow strong as he gathers to himself what forces he lacked when he came into the light of the sun.

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So we say that Death is a Sacrament, and indeed it is a very holy thing. Some few of your race—and more than you wot of, by the way—have disrobed of their bodies of earth without passing through that disintegration more slowly which stands for death in the eyes of men. But the essential act is identical in both. And in order that death might be paid due honour in its more usual form, He Who is Lord of Life did not scruple to pass that way from life to the life of ages, and by the manner of that His death He showed that, whatever be its form and value in the eyes of men, it is an act normal to the journey of humankind as it presses onward toward the upper reaches of the River of Life which comes from the Heart of God.

THE WALL OF THE BORDERLAND—THE TWO YOUNG COMRADES, ARRIVAL AND MEETING Friday, December 7, 1917. 5.20-6.55 p.m. OUT of the gloom which hovers over the earth sphere, and through which those who would come to you from these brighter realms must penetrate, emerges continually a stream of people who have passed through the Vale of Conflict into these fair fields of sunshine and that peace which is rarely known among you of earth. We speak now not of such as fail to realize their high destiny, but of those who, striving to understand and fathom the meaning of Being, and of their part and lot in it, have shaped their earthly course by the compass of His Love. These have known that over all this gloom and beyond all perplexity of twilight, the sun which shines is the sun of Righteousness and of Justice and of Love. So they come hither somewhat prepared for the righting of what has seemed to be wrong and with trust in those who have helped to guide their faltering steps lest they stumble too greatly or lose their way on their pilgrimage to the Heavenly City. This much surely. And yet few there be, or almost 104

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none at all, who do not lift their eyelids in surprise and wonder at the greater beauty and serenity of peace which is to their imagining as the living person is to the picture which, in flat limning of light and shade, strives in vain to emulate the pulsing life of the original. Yes, I can well believe all of it, Leader* … that is what you are called, so Kathleen tells me. But could you, please, give me a specimen instance of it? Something individual and definite, I mean. Among so many it is hard to choose. Yet, we will tell you of one of those who came here lately. It is not of the duties of our band at the present stage to go near the border and bring those who come over to their proper places. But we are ever in touch with those whose business it is to do this, and their experience is for us to draw upon. He was a youth who came through the wall but lately, and was laid on the grassland by the roadside. Would you mind explaining what you mean by the wall? In your realm of matter a wall is, we will say, of stone or brick. The stone of which the wall is builded is not solid in the sense of being coagulate absolutely. Every particle of which the stone is made up is in motion, as your science has but recently found. And the particles themselves are also constitute of denser motion than the ether, as you call that element in which they float. Motion is consequent on will, and will is set in action by personality. It therefore results * See footnote, page 58.

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in this, as considered inversely: A person or group of persons concentrate their will on the ether which is set in vibration, and out of that vibration particles are the resultant. These also by the operation of the will of other groups—hierarchies, if you will—cohere in more or less dense formation, and the result is water or stone or wood. Every kind of matter, therefore, is but an outer manifestation of personality, and varied in composition and density according to the order of the personality, acting singularly or in concert, which continuous exercise of will-force produces, such manifestation as is to their own class appropriate. Here obtains a system of operative law very like this we have detailed to you as obtaining between the spiritual Realms and your economy of matter. The Wall we spoke of is produced and sustained in position by will power resident and operative in the sphere of earth. This is met on this side by the will power proper to and operative in the Spheres above the earth and, being beaten back, it becomes condensed and welded into a wall of thickness and substance quite palpable to us who are of nature more sensitive and refined, but which to you incarnate in bodies of grosser substance is cognizable only as a mental state of impenetrable density, and of which you speak as a cloud of perplexity or spiritual gloom or some such like name. When we say it is produced by the wills of you of earth we speak in literal sense of the creative faculty of spirit. All spirit is creative and you in the flesh are spirits, and each a focus-point of the Spirit Universal, even as we. This cloud of vapour, therefore,

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which comes against our Boundary from earth is of spirit creation, even as that which proceeds against it continuously from these higher Realms, and keeps it constant in its own place. It is not a difference in nature or kind but only in degree. It is the meeting of the higher and the lower and, in ratio, as one or other rises or falls in intensity, so is that wall produced forward or thrust back earthward. But it is fairly constant to its place and is never found far away from its mean position. You set us a task, friend, by your question. It was to tell you in earth wording of one of those matters which are still ahead of science as you understand the term among you to-day. Some day when your science has enlarged its borders hitherward, some one of yourselves will be able, perchance, with words more familiar to you in their usage, to make plain more easily what we have found it somewhat hard to set down. I think I catch the general drift of it. Thank you for your effort, any way. So they found him lying on the turf near the gateway through which he had entered, borne of those who had brought him hither. Soon he opened his eyes and looked around him in much wonder, and when he had accustomed his sight to the new light, he was able to see those who had come to lead him on the second stage of his journey to his new home. His first question was a quaint one. He asked them, "What about my kit, please—? Have I lost it?" One of them who led the others replied, "Yes, my

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boy, I fear you have. But we can give you other and better kit in its place." He was about to reply when he noticed the aspect of the landscape and said, "But who brought me here? I don't remember this country. It was not like this when I was hit." Then his eyes opened wider, and he asked in a whisper, "Say, sir, have I gone west?" "That's what it is, my boy," was the answer, "You have gone west. But not many realize that fact so soon. We have watched you all the while, watched you grow up, and in your office, and in your training-camp, and in your work in the army till you were hit, and we know you have tried to do what you felt to be right. Not always but, on the whole, you have taken the higher way, and now we will show you your home." He was silent for a time and then said, "Can I ask questions, or is it against rule?" "No, ask your questions, we are here to answer them." "Well, then, was it you, sir, who came to me one night on sentry and spoke to me about going west?" "No, it was not any of us here. That one is waiting for you a little further up the road there. If you are strong enough we will take you to him. Try to rise and see if you can walk." He arose quickly and stood to attention, from the habit he had formed, and the leader smiled and said, "My dear boy, all that is past. Discipline here is quite different from that which you have known hitherto. Count us as your friends, and come along with us now. Commands you will be given, and you

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will obey, but not yet awhile. When that comes to, pass, such commands will be given by those who are higher than we, and you will obey them, not from fear of reprimand, but out of the greatness of your love." He simply said, "Thank you, sir," and went forward with them along the road, silent and in deep meditation on what had been said, and on the strangeness of the beauty of his new surroundings. They ascended the roadway and passed over the brow of a hill, on the other side of which was a coppice of very large and beautiful trees, with flowers growing by the roadside, and many birds singing amidst the greengold foliage. And on a mound there sat another young man who rose as they approached him. He came towards the group and, going up to the young soldier, put his arm around his shoulders, and walked beside him in silence, the other keeping silent also. Suddenly the young soldier stopped and, removing the arm of the other, turned and looked at him intently. Then a smile suffused his face, and he took both hands in his own and said, "Why, Charlie, who would have thought of this? Then, you didn't manage it after all." "No, Jock, I didn't, thank God. I went west that night, and afterwards they let me come and stay with you. I went with you pretty well everywhere, and did what I could for your comfort. Then they told me you would soon be coming over here. Well, I thought you ought to know. I remembered what you had said to me when you tried to get me out of it, and

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back to the lines again, after I had got it in the neck. And so I waited till you were quiet, and by yourself, and then I tried all I could. I knew afterwards that I had managed to make you see me, and partly hear what I had said to you about your coming west." "Ah, yes, it's 'coming' west now, not 'going,' isn't it? "That's the size of it, old fellow. And now I can thank you for what you tried to do for me that day." So these two friends went on ahead of the rest, who slowed their pace that this might be so and, in homely language such as their wont had been, made their friendship for each other articulate. Now we have chosen this incident in particular to show you several things, among them these: No kind act is ever passed by without note in these spheres. The one who does the act is always thanked here by the one to whom the benefit has been done. Those who come over still use the language and manner of earthly speech. Some of you would be greatly shocked to hear the rather forcible phrases which drop from the lips of really bright spirits when first they meet their friends of earth. I speak now more especially of the soldiers who have fought in the war, as these two had done. Rank here keeps pace with true inner worthiness, and is affected not in the least either by earthly rank, or by earthly education. Of those two, the one who came over first had been a labourer before enlistment, and of poor parentage. The other had come of a family not poor in worldly affairs, and had for some years been in an office of business in preparation for a

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responsible position in his uncle's house. Their respective status was not of much account when the one had led the other wounded away from the enemy trenches. Here it was of no account at all. So do friends meet here and begin their onward way. For they who are faithful in their duties of earth are made welcome when they come hither into these fields of beauty and rest where no sound of war is heard, nor wounds nor pain can penetrate. For this is the Realm of Peace where the weary find sanctuary from all earth's troubles, and many joys of life abound.

THE ARRIVAL OF A MINISTER OF RELIGION IN THE SECOND SPHERE Monday, December 10, 1917. 5.28-7.5 p.m. SUCH incidents as that of which we told you at our last coming are not rare in these Realms, although to you it may seem somewhat strange to hear of a scene from the battlefields of earth being reproduced in these acres of calm and peace. But it is of such small things that the web of life is wrought, and here life is life indeed. Those two friends are not the only two who thus have met, and have in these bright lands renewed the friendship which first they made amidst much hurry of business and stress of earthly endeavour. Let us now go forward a little and we will tell you of another meeting by way of enlightening those who dwell below the mist which lies between us and you, and through which for the present time their foreshortened vision cannot penetrate. It will not be so ever, but, for the time, until their eyes become more quickened, we must strive in this less direct way to help them in their seeing. There is, in the Second Sphere from earth, a house where those who are newly come over await their 112

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sorting-out, to be forwarded, each with his guide, to the place where best he may be trained in the beginnings of the heavenly life. It is a very interesting Home to visit, for here are to be found together many varied types of character, and some who, being of good report as to their earth probation, yet are not quite so settled in convictions on this or on that as to be able readily to be classified. Not, mark you, by reason of the lack of skill in such a matter on the part of the workers of these Realms, but because it were not well to move any new-comer forward on a definite road until he first very plainly and fully be able to understand himself, and where he lacks, and where he excels, and of what content his character be. So in this Home they rest quiet and in congenial company for a while until they shed some of the fever and unquiet which they have carried over from earth, and be able to take stock of themselves and their environment with deliberation and more certainty. One of our band not long ago went to this Home and sought out a man who had come to such a forward state as this. On earth he had been a minister of religion who had read somewhat of what you call psychic matters, and the possibility of speaking one to other between us and you, as we do at this present. But he could not come at the thing in thorough, and was afraid to say out even so much as he in his own heart knew to be true and good. So he did what many of his fellows are doing. He put the matter aside from him. He could find other ways in which to help his fellow-men, and this other matter might await the time when it was more and more widely

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understood and accepted of men, and then he would be one of the foremost to proclaim what he knew, and would not shirk his duty in that time. But when others came to him and asked him first whether it was possible to speak with their dear ones who had come over here; and second, whether it were God's will so to do; he put them in mind of their Christian belief in the Saintly Communion, but urged them that they be patient until the Church should have tested and sifted and should have issued guidance for those who were of the fold. And while he waited, lo, his time on earth was fulfilled and he was carried over here into this Home where he might rest awhile and come to some decision on what attitude he had assumed on divers matters of his calling, and of the use he had made of his opportunities. The worker of whom I spoke Why not tell me his name and save words? It is not "his" name, my friend, for the worker is feminine. Let us call her "Naine," and it will serve. She went to the Home and found him: walking in a pathway through a wood, a pathway of greensward very beautiful with foliage and flowers and lights and colours and shades of softer hues, very peaceful and quiet and, at that spot, lonely. For he sought to be alone, so he might think more clearly of what was in his mind. She went to him and stood before him, and he bowed and would have passed on, but she spoke to him and said, "My friend, it was to you I was sent, to speak with you."

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"The Angel who has to answer to our Master for your life-work while in the earth sphere," she said. "Why should he have to answer for me?" he asked her. "Surely every one must answer for his own life and work—isn't that so?" And she said, "That is surely so. Yet, to our sorrow, we here know that it is not the whole of the matter. For nought you do or leave undone ends with yourself alone. He who had you in charge made effort, time and again, for your welfare and, in part, succeeded, but not in whole. And now the earth period has been closed for you, he has to sum up your life, and answer for his charge of you, to his joy and also to his sorrow." "This seems hardly fair, to my mind," he answered her. "It is not my idea of justice that another should suffer for one's failures." Naine said: "And yet, that is what you taught the people yonder—it was your understanding of the doings at Calvary, and you handed it on to them. Not all you said of it was true, and yet it was true in part. For do we not share joy on behalf of another's joy, and shall we not also share in his sorrowing? This your Angel does for you even now. He both joys and sorrows over you." "Please explain." "He joys in that you did good work in charity, for your heart was much bathed in love for God and man. He sorrows for you in that you were not content to do what you taught was done for you on Calvary. For you were not willing to become scorn for men, and to

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be withered with their disapproval, for you valued the praise of men more than God's praise, and hoped to be able one day to buy more cheaply your reward for having spread light upon the darkness when that darkness should begin to pass from night into the twilight of the dawning day. But you did not see, in your weakness and lack of valiant purpose and of strength to suffer shame and coldness, that the time for which you waited was the time when your help would be not needful, and the fight all but won by others of more stalwart mettle, while you stood with the onlookers and viewed the fight from a fair vantage-ground, while those others fought and gave and took blows good and strong and fell forward in the battle when they would not surrender their cause to those who opposed them." "But why all this?" he inquired. "What is your reason for coming to me at all?" "Because he sent me," she said, "and because he would that be also might come to you, but is not able until you are of a mind more clear of purpose, and until you have mastered and acknowledged the various elements which made up your earth life in their true values and appraisement." "I see, partly at least. Thank you. I have been in a cloud all this time. I came here, away from the others, to try to understand it all better. You have said some pretty straight things to me. Perhaps you Will add to this service by telling me how I am to begin." "That is my mission here and now. It is the one thing with which I was charged. I was to probe your

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mind, to make you look inward upon yourself and, if you showed any will to progress, I was to give you a message. This will you have now shown—not very heartily, however. And this is my message from your Angel guide who awaits you to lead you on when you have trained yourself some little more. You are requested to take up your quarters in a home, which I will shew you, in the First Sphere. From there you will, from time to time, visit the earth plane and help those there in their communion with their friends here in these spheres of light, and also aid them in speaking comfort and encouragement to those who are in the darker spheres, that they may progress into the light and peace of His Presence. There are even among those to whom you ministered, several who are trying to do this good work for those in anguish, and also to give and to get gladness by their speaking with their loved ones here. They sought your guidance in this matter and you had no courage to give it to them. Go and help them now and, when you are able to make known to them your personality, unsay what you then said, or say what you lacked courage then to tell them. In this you shall have some shame, but they will have much joy and will deal very kindly with you, for they have scented already the fragrance of love from Realms higher and brighter than this in which you have been resting. But the choice is still for you. Go or go not, as your heart inclines you." He stood with bowed head, silent for a long time, while Naine waited. He fought out his struggle, and it was no little one for such as he. And then he failed to come to any decision, but said he would think it

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over in all its bearings and decide later on. So his old failing of fear and hesitation clung to him like a mantle and hindered the freedom of his going forward even when he would. And Naine returned to her own Sphere, but was not able to bear back with her the joyful answer for which she came. And—what did he do, what decision did he come to? When last I heard he had not come to any decision. The whole happening is a recent one, and is not finished yet. Finished it cannot be until he decides of his own free will to do what he has to do. There are many who visit your Communion gatherings who are such as he or very like. By Communion gatherings do you mean the Service of the Holy Communion, or seances? What if we will call them of like nature? Truly in earth estimation they be much diverse, each from other. But we here judge not by the standards of earth. Those who go to the one or to the other go for a purpose identical—communion with us and our Master the Christ. That suffices us. But of our minister: It is in your mind to ask why a woman be sent on a mission such as this, and to a minister of Theology to reason with him on his conduct and life-work. We will answer what we note in your mind. It is simple enough, the answer. He in his early life had a small sisterchild of only a few years, and she died and passed on, while he stayed and grew to manhood. This woman was that little child. He had loved the little one very well, and had he been

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all attuned to the higher part in him, he would have known her again, for all her beautiful and glowing maturity of womanhood. But his eyes were holden and his sight dimmed, and so she went away unknown. Truly we be all of one family in joy and in sorrow pooled together for us, and we must drink the cup perforce, even as He did Whose cup was the sins of the world, and the love in the world, of joy and sorrow mingled.

COMMUNION BETWEEN EARTH AND THE SPHERES—A MANIFESTATION OF THE CHRIST Tuesday, December 11, 1917. 5.20-6.52 p.m. WHEN we come to speak with you, as we are doing, there is between us and that sphere in which our normal "Habitat" lies a life-line, as we may so call it. It has taken some time in the fashioning of it, but it is well worth any labour we have given for its construction. When we first descended into these realms we had perforce to be very gradual in our descent. We had to travel slowly downward from sphere to sphere and, as we came, we evolved in ourselves that condition of progress in spirit which is suitable to the environing conditions of each sphere through which our journey lay. This travelling to and fro we made many times, and each time we made the journey it became easier for us to readjust ourselves constitutionally and we were able to go more quickly from state to state than at first was possible to us. And now we may come and go almost with that ease with which we travel from one place to another in the sphere in which our dwelling is. So that to come from there to you we 120

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count not time at all, for we come on the instant by one continuous effort of transposition instead of efforts several and repeated as we approached each self-conditioned sphere. Thus have we established the life-line of which we spoke, and which we use in descending hither and in ascending yonder from time to time. What is your normal sphere, please? As Zabdiel* numbered them to you, ours is the Tenth. It is that of which he briefly told you and from which he later went to that above next in order. Few, and that not often, come from any sphere of higher degree to this of earth. It is possible so to do, and it has come to pass many times, if you count the ages in the sum of them. But when that happens some great purpose is toward and one which it is not competent for us who live in the Tenth or lower spheres to understand so well as to be the chosen messenger. Such was Gabriel who stands in God His Presence, ready to do His behest in the Heavenly Realms, both far and near. But even he has come to the lower regions about the earth but seldom. Now as it is possible that we should come to you, so it is also within the economy of the heavenly wisdom that others of higher degree and estate should come to us from time to time. And for a very like purpose, which is that we should be given to know, in our bliss of service in these spheres of light and glory, of the greater glory and bliss of higher service and wisdom to ———
* The messages from Zabdiel are published in Vol. II of The Life Beyond the Veil, entitled "The Highlands of Heaven."

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know of the Ultimate which lies ahead of us in the great advance from strength to strength from one estate to another of more sublimity. Thus are given to us, as to those of you who will receive the boon, glimpses of the way ahead. Thus we be not altogether strangers in those farther lands towards which we go ascending ever. And as it is with you, we also, time and again, are permitted to visit those higher glories for brief space and, returning, to tell our fellows of how they, our brothers, fare in those intenser spheres ahead of us. So is the economy of God but one, and what is afoot in the lower spheres is found to serve in those of higher degree. And as you who accept our mission of enlightenment look forward with longing to your future life and ways, so having attuned ourselves to the estate we now enjoy, we also look still ahead to those realms which await us when we, by Grace and our own quiet endeavour, shall have enriched ourselves in such qualities as shall fit us for our further pilgrimage. And there comes in these ways to our knowledge the life of the realms above us where those who dwell there be so near to the Christ and His own Abode, that in their face and form are seen to be the form and the lineaments of the Christ Himself. About these realms supernal and sublime in their silence of potential energy the Christ moves freely, while to us He comes in what has been shown to you as Presence Form. In that way, too, He is altogether lovely, as well I know. And if this be so, then what suns of splendour must His eyes be like and what

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rosy glory must his raiment soften to the gaze of less than He, so they be not too much in amaze at His Present beauty. You have seen Him then, Leader? In that form, yes; but not in His naked loveliness, as I have lastly told. More than once? Aye, friend, and in spheres more than one. In this way He can and does penetrate even to earth and there He is not seldom seen. But then only by the young or those who have carried in their hearts their child-likeness, or those who in great anguish need Him very sorely. Could you tell me of one of those occasions on which you have seen Him, please? I will tell you of that time when there was some stir in the sphere where they come to be sorted out and classified, the sphere of which I told you at our last sitting to write. Many had come over at that time and the sphere was rife with much business and some perplexity. The workers there were hard put to, to know how best to help those many who were still not classified. And the mixture of good and ill in the multitude was causing some effervescence amongst them, for they were chafing and ill at ease and feeling that they were not being dealt with in justice and wisdom. This does not often happen. But I have known it to be so more times than one. Mark you, they in that sphere are not bad, but godly people. They did not openly complain. In their hearts they know that all was well done to them. But their confused mixture of cloud and light prevented

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them from understanding. And while they did not openly murmur, yet they were sad at heart and began to lack courage for their task of selfknowledge—a hard work, too,—mark you—for those who have neglected the thing in the earth life. It seems harder to be come at here, than in your sphere. But I will not pursue this further now. The Angel Lord of the Colony came forth of His House and called to the multitude and they came with sad faces, many with their glances bent on the ground, with no heart to look upon the fairness of his beauty. When they were assembled before the high flight of stairs on which he stood outside the portico of his dwelling, he spoke to them in quiet tone of voice and told them not to be of poor heart for One before them had felt as they did now and He had won through because when clouds came between Him and His Father's face He still held on and would not distrust, but called Him Father still. And while he spoke, one after another they lifted up their eyes to him and saw his majesty and his glowing, for he was of a higher sphere, he who had in charge this very difficult colony. And gradually as he still spoke gently to them with words of penetrating wisdom, they saw a mist begin to come about him and envelop him and slowly his form seemed to dissolve in the cloud of mist which, condensing, clothed him as with a mantle cast about him. At length they saw him no longer, but lo, upon the steps where he had stood another form began to appear, the form of One of lovelier countenance and brighter radiance than he. Brighter He grew and then there emerged

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into view about His brow a thorny chaplet with blood-drops beneath and on His breast, as if they had but now fallen. But as He grew brighter those thousands of tired eyes grew brighter too and they became lost in amaze at His exceeding glory of loveliness. The crown became changed into one of gold and rubies, the red drops upon His breast were gathered together into a clasp upon His shoulder to hold in place, and the robe he wore beneath His mantle glowed with the gold light of His radiant form beneath, which shone within its gossamer like molten silver with a tincture of sunlight in its texture. And the face of Him I cannot limn to you, for it is not possible in your words of earth more than to say that the majesty of the allconquering Redeemer was there. His brow was the brow of a Creator of worlds and cosmoi and yet with the frail beauty of a woman's brow where the hair fell apart in the centre. The chaplet spoke of Kingship and yet there was no pride of rule in the softness of the wavy hair, and His long lashes rather called upon our tenderness, while His eyes made us both love and reverence Him, but in awe. Well, slowly the vision of Him melted into the atmosphere—I do not say faded away—for we felt that as He became more and more invisible to sight, yet His form was becoming vaporized as the air became more and more enforced with the very Presence of Him. And then at last He was gone from our sight and where He had been we saw once more the Angel Lord of the Colony. But now be stood no longer, but with one knee aground his forehead rested upon the other

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and his hands were clasped about his forward foot. So still he was in rapture of communion that we left him there and went our ways. Only now we stepped with lighter tread and hearts uplifted. We were weary now no more, but ready for our task, whatever it should be. He spoke no word while we stood looking upon Him, but in our hearts "I am with you in all the ages," sounded very clear. And so we went to our work in great content and resolute.

THE DESCENT OF THE CHRIST INTO MATTER Wednesday, December 12, 1917. 5.24-6.30 p.m. IT is not that we are far away from you, that you must think of us. We are very near by. You have it in your mind that, because Kathleen writes with you directly, we who speak to you through her are calling from a distance. That is not so. Being that we have compassed the difficulty of descent by readjustment, we come well into the sphere of earth and, that being so, we find no difficulty in attuning our minds so that we be very near to you. For there are degrees of estate in the earth sphere, as there are in those more advanced. It were very difficult, if possible at all, that we should come into the near environment of those who spiritually have not risen much higher than the animal state. But with those who seek to aspire towards us we, on our part, may bend down to them and meet them at the highest point they can mount to. And so we do with you. Does this rest your mind in some measure, friend? Well, I have felt as you have described, certainly. But if your further explanation be true, what need of Kathleen at all? 127

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That, in part at least, we have explained before. We add a little now. You must bear in your mind some few facts—as these: Kathleen is more of your own period than we who mostly lived on earth some long time ago. She is nearer you in estate, normally, than we, and, while we can come into touch with your innermost self, she finds it easier than we to play upon that outer part where speech and motion of your fingers have their seat, that is the brain of your material body. Also, in the transmutation of our thoughts into words she plays a good part between us. But for all these, yet you and we are quite in tune and in touch together. May I ask a few questions? Most surely—but you hasten forward with some zest for knowledge, friend. Ask one and if there be time for more we will have them also. Thank you. About the Descent of the Christ: when He descended from the Father's Home to become incarnate, I suppose it was necessary for Him to condition Himself to the Spheres, one after another, until He reached the earth sphere. Coming from so high a place, that would take Him a long time to do, wouldn't it? So far as we have been taught, friend, the Christ was present in the earth Sphere when it was without form, that is when it was non-material. When matter began to be He was the Master Spirit through Whom the Father wrought into orderly constellations the material universe, as now you understand it. But, although He was present, yet He Himself was also

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formless, and took upon Himself, not material form but spiritual form, as the universe became endued with its outer manifestation, and so took form of matter. He was behind the whole phenomena, and the whole process passed through the Christ as the ages went along and matter grew from a chaos into a cosmos. That were not possible except for some dynamic entity operating from outside and superior to the chaos, and working downwards and into that chaos. For order cannot come out of what is lacking in order except by the addition of a new ingredient. It was the contact of the Christ Sphere with chaos that resulted in the cosmos. Chaos was matter in potential state. Cosmos is matter realized. But, this being so, matter as realized is but the phenomenal effect of that dynamic energy which, added to inertia, produced motion. Motion itself is the sum of the activities of will considered potentially. Will, passing from the potential state into its realization, becomes motion regulated according to the quality of that particular will which is its creator. Hence the Creator of all, working through the Christ, produced, after ages of continuous urge, the cosmos. Now, if we have in any degree been able to make clear to you what is in our minds, you will see that the Christ was in the material universe from its inception and, that being so, He was in the earth sphere also while it gradually assumed first materiality and then form and last became, in its own turn interpreter of the meaning of the work of the ages which had become articulate, at length, in Earth's genesis. That is, it

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reproduced from itself the principle of creation and gave it expression. For from Earth came forth mineral and vegetable and animal forms of lifeexpression. See you, friend, in what this eventuates? It means no less than that Earth and the whole Cosmos of matter is the Body of Christ. The Christ Who came to Earth? The Christ Who was One with the Father and, being One with the Father, was of the Father's Selfhood. Jesus of Nazareth was the expression of the thought of the Father, incarnate as the Christ for Earth's salvation. Bethink you a little, for I see a slight disturbance in your mind. On the other planets of your System are beings not unlike men. On planets of other systems are beings not unlike men also. In other constellations there be those who are related reasonably to God and His Christ and can commune with their Creator, as also do men. But they are not of human form nor of human method of thought-communion which you call speech. And yet to them the Creator and His Christ stand in the same relation as they do to you. And it has been, and still is, necessary that their Christ become manifest to them from time to time, in the form themselves have evolved. But then He goes to them not as Jesus of Nazareth, in human form, which to them would be less helpful than strange. He goes to them in their own form, and with their own methods of communion, and uses their own rational processes. This were obvious except to such as they who, having thrown into the void of space behind them the geocentric theory materially considered, have still bound that

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theory about them spiritually, like mummy wrappings, so that they scarce can move or see beyond their small world that there be other of as great import to the Creator as is this small earth of ours. So that we say to you, the Christ Who came to Galilee was but the Earth-expression of the Christ Universal, but true Christ withal. Now let us come to an end, albeit we have told you not a tithe of the glorious and splendid tale of the rhyme and rhythm of the aeons and their birth and marriage and their bringing forth of suns who smile upon their own lesser children to-day. The Christ, then, descended with matter as matter descended—by precipitation, if you will—out of the energizing of spirit dynamics. He was embodied in mineral life, for by Him all matter consists. He was embosomed in the rose and lily, and all vegetable life was the life of Him by means of Whom their beauty and wonder came forth of matter moving onward towards reason, but, at the highest, only touching the hem of the garment of rational activity. And He became manifest also in the animal life of the earth, for animals, as man, are of His evolving. The highest expression of His will was mankind. And in due time He came forth of the invisible into the visible world. He, Who had made man, was Himself made man. He, by Whom man came to be and to persist, thought forward into matter, and His thought took on expression in Jesus of Nazareth. So He Who was the Anointed Agent of the Creator for the making of man Himself became the Son of Man whom He had made.

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It is enough, friend. Your further questions will await our further coming. God and His Christ, Who united to bring you forth as man, friend, have joy of you in that you realize, and help others to realize, the splendour of their sonship and their destiny.

THE ASCENT OF THE CHRIST THE KINGDOM OF THE CHILD Friday, December 14, 1917. 5.20—6.50 p.m. WE have spoken to you, friend, of the Descent of the Christ into matter, as you inquired of us. Now let us pursue the normal road in continuance of what already we have given you. That road is now not downward into the womb of the material cosmos, but upward into the spiritual and toward that state which eventuates in the spiritual perfected which you have called by the name of the Home of the Father. That is the boundary of the present content of the universe of man's imagination. Further than that he cannot go in his forward gaze into what he conceives to be the possibilities of Being. And yet we here have come to know that Spirit, sublime as it is in essence, is not the sum of Being. As beyond the realm of the material stretches the spiritual, so beyond those far and distant heights of light impenetrable, and holiness in awful purity, towards which we think our way, there lies Being which is not Spirit alone, but which into Itself absorbs all that Spirit is at its whitest sublimity, and encompasses 133

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the sum total of spirit resultant in a universe of sublimity higher still. As the light of a planet is but a small part of the outgoings of the central sun, and reflects back that light tinctured by its own planetary quality, so matter receives of spirit, and, in like manner, contributes its own small ingredient to the qualification and enrichment of the spiritual universe. As the Sun, in his turn, is of a system much greater than himself and but one unit of a constellation of suns, so Spirit is but part of a universe of Being of magnitude and sublimity beyond our ken. And even a constellation is in itself a unit of a vaster aggregation—but we will here cease to apply the analogy lest we become lost in wonderment, when we would rather find our way along the road of reason and understanding. Let us therefore follow the Christ on His heavenly way, remembering that, being lifted up and exalted, He draws all men after Him, trailing His myriads along the heavenly road among the glories of the spheres towards the Home from whence He came, that where He is they might also be one day. As the ages blend into ages yet to come, so the glory of the Christ intensifies, for every new recruit coming into His army adds a spark to the lustre Of His shining Kingdom, which is viewed, so we are told, by those who stand aloft on the dizzy heights of the Realm which is most distant and lofty of all, as in the realm of matter you view a distant star. In the ocean of spirit all the Spheres of the Christ are gathered into one great Star, and can be viewed exteriorly by those who dwell on high. That is not

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possible for us adequately to comprehend, yet we may get some small idea of its meaning thus: From the earth you are unable to see the Solar System as a unit, for you are in the midst of that system and a part of it. But one standing aloft on Arcturus would see one small sphere of light, and in that sphere would be comprised your Sun and his planets and their moons. So do you view Arcturus and the other millions of the stars you see from Earth. So the Kingdom and Spheres of the Christ are viewed from the Realm afar, and age by age that System grows in brightness as the races which go to make up the whole evolve more and more out of the material into the spiritual. In this I speak of the whole spiritual economy as one star, and Those Who are placed to view it are They Who dwell on those far steppes of Being which are beyond the realms of Spirit in the great Void of the Unknown and Incomprehensible. So far ahead are Those of Whom we speak, that we who have progressed ten spheres in Spirit can count ourselves no nearer to Them than you of Earth. The distance from you to us in progress, divided into that from us to Them, would be so infinitesimal as to be beyond all reckoning. Yet as the whole of the constellations of suns march onward in orderly formation towards a sure if distant goal, so the Spheres of Spirit march onward towards their destiny, when the pilgrimage of Spirit shall blend into that which is beyond, and find there its consummation. To this end the Christ, bending down from His

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Father's Bosom, touched humankind with the tip of His finger, and man became electrified with that Life Divine which pulses within his soul with onward urge, that in the train of the Sovereign Prince he may keep his rank with those of other planets, who together march forward as the one Army of the Father under the Vice-regency of His Son. There is one thing I am not quite clear about. Our Lord said of little children, "Of such is the Kingdom." What you have said seems to imply that as we grow older we become less of the Kingdom, in the sense of childlikeness. Indeed, this seems to agree with our experience. But this would mean that we progress backward, with a kind of inverse development. Yet again, if our progress is only the first stage of the journey, and is continued in the Spheres, the child-like standard seems to be rather anomalous. Can you explain my difficulty? The child is born into the world endowed with certain qualities and powers. But these are in childhood quiescent and undeveloped. They are there, but sleeping. As the mind enlarges in its capacity, it is able to call upon these powers, one after another, and to employ them. In so doing the man is continually both enlarging his sphere of action, and also coming into contact with new forces which impinge upon his environment, as that environment, enlarging its circumference, contacts, one after another, the spheres where these forces reside. Such forces I speak of as those which are creative and unifying

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and spiritualizing, and are apprehensive of the knowledge of God. On the manner in which he employs these means of larger strength depends his development as a spiritual being. The child is of the Kingdom in so far as he opposes not his will against that of the Father. Let the man, as he grows in capacity, keep that in his mind, and such child-likeness in his heart, and his enlarging powers will be used in consonance with the one grand purpose of God in the evolution of the race of men and other races who are of the one great family of the Creator. But if he, growing in years and in powers, fails to carry along with him on his way that quality of trustful obedience which is so marked in the child, then he will be found to be at variance with the Creator's mind, and friction will ensue which will clog the wheels of his chariot, and he will begin to lag behind till he come nearer and nearer the outlands of the Kingdom, and less and less in harmony with that company as he nears the boundary-line. But they who lose no portion of their child-like trustfulness, and to that add other virtues in their measure as they go along life's way, do not progress inversely, but more and more become children of the Kingdom. Jesus of Nazareth was such as this, for, being the Son of His Father, to that Father His heart ever inclined in perfect unison, as in the Book of the records of His life you may read quite clearly. When He was a boy it was His Father's affairs which filled His mind to be busy about them. It was His Father's House which claimed His protection from worldly passions of self-centred men. In Gethsemane He sought to maintain that unison of

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purpose with His Father's will. Upon the Rood He turned to see His Father's face, which the density of the world's miasma arose to obscure for the moment. Yet He did not fail to hold His heart God-ward, and when He left the Body of flesh it was towards the Father that His way was set. On Easter also He must still make that the pole-star of His heavenly voyage, as He told the Magdalene He must do, When the Seer of Patmos met with Him in the Heavenly Temple, He gave announcement that so much at one with the Father had He proved His will to be, that into His hands had been given authority to act in the Heavens as in the Earth, with plenitude of power. And who shall not see—who look upon His brief life of earth, or who have looked upon His Person here, as have we who now speak to you of Him—who shall not see in Him the Child unspotted but blent with the dignity of strength and of developed Man, and crowned with the Majesty of Godhead. Yes, friend, it is only one who has come to great place in the Kingdom of the Father who may understand the Kingdom of the Child.

TEMPLE OF THE HOLY MOUNT THE SEER DISMISSES LEADER AND HIS PARTY ON THEIR MISSION Tuesday, December 17, 1917. 5.18-7.0 p.m. IN the preceding messages we have told you, as we ourselves have learned, somewhat of the mystery of creation and progress of the Universe of matter, and, in a lesser degree, of that of spirit. There are reaches there far surpassing any imagining of ours, or of your own, and these will be made clear to us as we in the ages which are ahead put on state after state of more perfection. So far as we are able to project our minds into that far immensity of life and being we cannot see any end to our onward going, for, as a river viewed from the mountain in which it takes its beginning, so is the life eternal. The stream broadens, and into its volume absorbs more and more those other streams which come from lands diverse in character, as in soil. So is the life of a man, as he, too, gathers into his personality many side-currents of divers quality, and in himself blending them in unity makes these one in and with himself. As the river is seen still to broaden until it passes out of itself and ceases to be distinctive as a separate entity, 139

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so man, as he himself broadens out beyond his initial state, passes into that great ocean of light where we cannot follow him in his further progress from our view-point on the mountain of his birth. But this we have learned, and few there are who doubt it, that as the water of the ocean does not change the substance of the river from water into that which is other than water, but only enriches and modifies its quality, so man will still be man when he emerges from between the banks of individuality on the one hand, and of personality on the other, and blends the richness of his accumulated qualities with the infinitude of That which is the beginning and the consummation, the outgoing and the incoming forces of the whole cycles of Being. Also, in the river fishes and water animals have their habitation, but the wider and deeper realms of ocean make room for things of life of grander bulk and power than these, so those who in unity disport their immensity in person and in power must be of magnitude of glory beyond our ken. We, therefore, glance ahead toward those far brothers of our own and know that they are not unmindful of us who, if we be much removed from their abode, yet have our faces set toward their quarters. It is from the Ultimate through such as these that life comes forth and bathes in love these lesser worlds of us and you. It is enough. We take our sip of the chalice of our destiny, and go forward much refreshed and strengthened for what duty lies to hand. Would you like to tell me of some of these duties, please?

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But they are manifold in number, and in diversity as great. We will tell you of a task we but lately were set upon and how we carried it to an end. In the sphere from which we come to you there stands a Temple aloft upon a hill. Is that the Temple Zabdiel told me about the Temple of the Holy Mount? The same. It is the Temple of the Holy Mount.* It is so called because of the Beings who descend thither on various missions of blessing for that sphere and those inferior, and also because from that place they go into the higher sphere who in holiness and wisdom have become so qualified as to be capable of living in that sphere without discomfort, being conditioned to the more rarefied atmosphere of the place by long training, and also by visiting that Temple and the plain below from time to time where the conditions prevailing in the Sphere Eleven are brought about, while they bathe in that environment which will one day be their permanent one, and so qualify themselves for their new abode. We went to the plain, and ascending the pathway round the side of the Mountain, approached the porch before the principal gate. Were you qualifying for further advances? Not in the way we have but presently described to you. No; that intensified atmospheric condition is not perpetual there, but is brought about at those ———
* The Temple of the Holy Mount is described in the message from Zabdiel, page 242 of "The Highlands of Heaven," Vol. II, The Life Beyond the Veil.

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seasons when they are to approach who are near their advancement. We came to the Porch and waited awhile, and then there came without one of the bright residents of that Holy Place, a Keeper of the Temple, and bade us come within with him. This we hesitated to do, for none of our band had entered that shrine hitherto. But he smiled, and in his smile we read assurance and went with him without fear. There was no ceremony toward at that time, and so we were in no danger of coming too nigh powers which would be to us as naked sunlight to the eyes of a man who dares to gaze into the sun's disk at noonday. We found we were in a long colonnade, and, on either side, the pillars supported a beam running from the porch to the bowels of the Temple itself. But above us there was no roof, but the void of infinity itself—the vault of the heavens, as you say. The pillars were of great diameter and height, and the beam atop much decorated in its plinth and facade, but with symbols which we were unable to unravel. Only one factor of the pattern could I personally recognize, and that was the tendril and leaf of the vine, but of fruit there was none, which to me seemed quite right in such a place which was but the passageway as was the whole of that Temple from one sphere into another, and was not a place of fruition. At the end of this long and wide passage curtains were hung, and we were halted before them while our guide went further and then returned to bid us enter. Even when we had passed through into the place beyond, we found we were in no wise within the great hall itself,

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but only in an ante-chamber. This ran across our path and we entered it, not at one of its ends, but in its side-length. It was of very large size in area and also in height, a square of the roof open in the middle before the door where we entered. But all the other part was covered with the roof. We turned to the right and went to the end of this apartment, and then our guide brought us to a halt before a throne or chair and spoke to us in words such as these: "My brothers, you have been called hither in order that you receive commission to do a work which is required of you in the spheres yonder below. Will you of your good will await the coming of our brother, the Seer, who will give you to understand further what is required of your band." As we stood there waiting, there came from behind the chair another man. He was taller than our guide, and around him as he moved there seemed to be a mist of blue and gold, set with sapphires. He came forward and took each of us by hand, and as we touched his fingers we became aware (as we told one the other afterwards) of the proximity of a sphere, within the Sphere Ten, which was a kind of concentrated essence of its condition, so that, entering within the circumference of that inner sphere, we were in touch with all that was going forward in the whole of that wide realm and in all its parts. We sat down on the steps about the Throne, and the Seer stood before us facing the Throne. He talked then of things which I could not help you to understand in whole, for they are not of your experience, and even to us were of those things which we were

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but then advancing to understand. But then he told us some things which we can tell you profitably. He told us that when Jesus of Nazareth was upon the Holy Rood there stood among those who beheld Him the one who had sold Him to his death. Do you mean he stood there in the flesh? Yes, in the flesh. He could not bring himself to keep away and stood not very near, but near enough to see the features of the dying Man, the Man of Sorrows. The Crown had been removed, but the blood-drops were upon His forehead, and His hair was here and there stained with blood. And as the betrayer looked upon the face and form of Him, there came into his soul a voice which mocked and said: "As you would have gone with Him into His Kingdom and there have taken high place of power, go now into the Kingdom of His adversary: there you may have power for the asking. He has failed you. Go now where He will not be at hand to reward you as you have served Him." So voices came about him, and he strove to believe them and to look into the face of the One on the Cross. He was eager and yet in fear of those eyes into which he never had been able to look with comfort at any time. But the sight of the dying Christ was all too dim and He did not see Judah* there. And still the voices hummed on and taunted him and cajoled him more gently, and at length, in the gloom about the place, he rushed away and let out his life in a place where he found solitude and a tree. He took off his girdle and hung himself to death on a tree. So they
* Judas Iscariot.

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two died on a tree both on the same day, and the light of earth went out for them both at the same hour. When they entered the spirit-spheres both were conscious, and they met there once again. But neither spoke then—only as He had looked on Peter, so He looked on Judah now, and left him for a time in his sorrow and anguish till that should do its work when He might come again with pardon. As He did with Simon, when He went forth into the night to weep, so He did now with Judah, who turned and stumbled away from Him with his hands to his eyes into the night of the hells. And as He did with Simon in his penitence and sorrow and his sore need, so He did with the one who had failed Him in his loneliness, as Simon also did He did not leave him comfortless all his days, but sought him out and gave to him the blessing of His pardon in the bitter anguish of his sorrow. This was what the Seer told us, and more than this withal. And he bade us stay awhile in the Temple and Shrine and meditate on the things he had told us, and also gather power to go forth at length with the story, telling it—with others, which he told us—wherever it were needful that sinners should hear of it, who in the darkness of despair had lost hope of the forgiveness of their Master betrayed, for a sin is betrayal. But in what manner our task was done we will tell you at another time, for you now grow spent, and we have had some ado to carry you on even thus far. So may the Saviour of sinners, the Compassionate

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One, be with all who are in the darkness, brother, for there be many in earth as in spirit who need His comforting very sorely. His graciousness be with you also.

IN SPHERE FIVE—THE PEAR-SHAPED HALL A SONG OF THE COSMOS—A SPEECH BY LEADER Tuesday, December 18, 1917. 5.20-6.43 p.m. FROM that High Place we went forth from the Audience Chamber wherein we had received the words of the Seer. More than I have told you he said to us in much love, and strengthened us for our mission. We went forth beneath the Porch and stood to view the wide expanse before us. Beneath us lay the plain of grassland, and it stretched very far forward to either, hand. Then rose the encircling hills from which the streams descended into the plain and gathered into a lake to rightward of us as we stood. To left they opened, and beyond the gateway between them we could see the mountain range which rose between the Sphere Ten and that next in order inferior. And as we stood the Seer stood in our midst, and by his power enveloping us we were able to envision what was beyond our normal sight and to see into those spheres where lay the road we had to take. Bright and less bright they appeared before us, and then dim and still more dim, until into the mists 147

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they went, where from our vantage-ground we could not penetrate. For those most dim were they which were about the earth and also those below that state in average, and from whence they who would come to earth must ascend, while they who, having lived their lives on earth unrighteously, go by natural attraction downward into the places where they most will benefit by their environment. These you call the Hells. Well, such they be, my son, if hell means anguish and torment and soulrending remorse. So having taken our stock of things and what sort of task lay ahead of us in the business we had afoot, we knelt and he blessed us and we went our way. We took the leftward steep and came beyond through the gap and bent forward on our long journey. The first few spheres were traversed by aerial flight, going over the breasts of the mountains, and not descending until we came to the Fifth Sphere, and here we stayed awhile and told our story in most fitting words such as would help in the resolution of what difficulties they who there abode had most at heart. Before going further, you might tell me how your mission was received in Sphere Five, if you will. It was the first of our series of gatherings and the first sphere where our work began. We were the guests of the Chief Lord, the Governor of that Sphere, because he was himself of a higher estate than Sphere Five, as the custom is. But we stayed in the College of Praetors who were well versed in the study of the perplexities arising in the minds of those who tarried there and who could point out to us where to look

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for ground to work upon and what points to make to stand forth in our teaching. Those gathered an assembly to the Great Hall of the College. It was a very great hall and in shape an oval, but one end was compressed more than the other. Like a pear? But that is a fruit we had forgotten, well-nigh, to name it. Yes, it was like a pear in ground-plan, but not so pointed. The people entered at the narrow end which was covered without by the Great Porch of the building. The rostrum was equal in distance from the other end and right and left walls. And here we took our stand. We had a singer with us and he first gave voice to a very magnetic air which he had made for the purpose. Low he began to sing, and his theme was Creation. He told us in rhythm of those things some of which we have told you—how, by the Ultimate His power projected, love first had its birth, and was found to be of sweetness so perfect that the Sons of God bathed in love, and of their contact came forth beauty. That is why all beauty is lovable and all love is simple and unalloyed, and in whatever phase it be manifest is full of beauty. But when the will of those who were given to act and bear their part in the development of the Realm of Being ran counter to the main stream of Beauty impulsed by love, then ensued an element which, being born of will acting not in consonance with original holiness, beings were evolved who were beautiful but not altogether beautiful, and their impetus once being blended with the ever-flowing stream of developing chaos, there also evolved others who were

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less and less of beauty, but none altogether lacking of some dim strain of beauty much overlaid and hidden from the eyes of those who continued in the broad onward road in a downward right line from their source. So he sang, and the large number of people were very attentive and listened to his words, for the music of them seemed to come from where beauty and love had taken birth, and the words themselves were such as showed that the Supreme and Ultimate was Unity and not diversity in Himself, and that what diversity had come about was only permitted to be by way of fulcrum, where resistance might be found that, being expressed in multiple, might be levered higher and toward Unity once more. Well, he being finished, a great silence fell upon them and they were very still. They stirred little, and those who had been standing on their feet so continued, and those who had been sitting upon the benches and stools remained thus in silence, and those who reclined aground, they still lay to ease. I noted this, and that no one altered his posture of place, because the spell of the song with its far-off origin in mighty upheavings of might and pulsations of life and energy held them and made them try to resolve all into focus with present environment and cosmic science. In a while I, who should speak to them, began. The singer had begun in tone repressed and dulcet, but as the ages began to travail in the birth of the worlds his voice swelled in travail too, and the mighty upheavals of force and energy seemed to be in his soul

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and to come forth in painful grandeur of volume. And then, when the chaos was shaping itself out of itself to become the Cosmos and the manifold offspring of the one Creator's imagining, the stately rhythm of his voice and phrasing, in orderly sequence of progression, gradually poised itself on a level note, until he ended in monotone, as if he would leave the theme suspended in mid-Heaven to show that the presence of eternities was but begun and not ended. So I paused before I followed him, to give them space to gather their thoughts to arm and to bring them out of the luminous cloud in air and to wrap them about them as a cloak, that I might see and mark what each one wore over his heart and understand each his character and his wants and of what I could best give to his helping. So I began and spoke to them altogether, but to each in his turn the while, and yet to them all as one continuously. And I told them of the reassembly of these diversities and the gathering together of the scattered sparklets of love into one great sun of beauty which should absorb and give forth the glow and light from the Ultimate Who was altogether Beauty and altogether Love. Thus I told them of the traitor Simon and the traitor Judah and of their repentance, one in the earth-life, where he lived his brief hell to such good purpose that the remorse of a thousand years was squeezed into a month of days and claimed its own, which was, as it is today, forgiveness and reinstatement within the orderly family of the Father, And also I told them of that other whose repentance did not come about until the One he had stabbed so

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hastily in his frenzy of despair was sold to death, and how he, hasty ever, and of desperate temper alway, plunged out of the world where naught had happened as he had planned, and how he came to no repentance until the Christ-Manifested, Jesus of Nazareth, went after him and others into those deep ravines of the dark mountains of hell, as after a strayed sheep, and told to those who there dwell in the gloom and tangible darkness of the Redemption wrought, offered and accepted of Him Who was Light and Love, and Who, through the Anointed, projected His love-beams into void spaces of immensity beyond the understanding to measure them and even into those same hells of night. And as they looked, their eyes were enabled to see the first light which some had seen for many, many years, until they had well-nigh forgotten what light was and what the look of it was like. But He was clothed with a dim, soft, sweet radiance, suitable to them in their present state to see, and one and then another crawled to His feet, and their tears sparkled as they fell like diamonds of dew into the sunlight, as they received the light from Him. And I told them that among these came the traitor Judah and was forgiven, even as Simon was later told of His forgiving love also. So, my son and friend, they listened, and began to see how I was telling them of the incomings into unison with God His Love and Sovereignty, of those outgoings from obedience to Him which had been so fruitful parents of the many perplexities which had troubled the children of men. Then in silence I ended, and in silence we left them

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there, and we went about to leave the hall and college and to go on our journey. And so we did, and the praetors sped us with words of kindly gratitude and we answered them with our benediction. So we departed from them.

LEADER'S PROBLEM IN SPHERE FIVE AND ITS SOLUTION— A MANIFESTATION OF THE CHRIST SORROWFUL AND GLORIFIED Wednesday, December 19, 1917. 5.30-7.10 p.m. WE went gently now and with no haste, for we began to come near to those regions where we were not of ease very much to abide therein, until we should have attuned our condition to theirs. And so we at length arrived at that Boundary Land where begins the Second Sphere, as reckoned from your earth, which we will count zero for the purpose of reckoning. Leader, before you continue, might I ask you a question? Was it not in Sphere Five that you stayed rather longer than in the others, because you had some kind of perplexity which held you back? I mean, in the earlier period—that of your ascent? You would like me to explain the problem which vexed me and held me there awhile. It was this. I knew that all men came at last to understand that God is Lord, and that all who came from Him told that to those who dwelt further away from His 154

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Throne and Sanctuary. Yet, if this be so, why were there so many myriads left behind us in those darker spheres, where misery and anguish surged and seemed to belie all love, and to counterplead its presence universal? That was my problem; It was the old crux of the existence of evil. Well, I could not understand nor reconcile these two opposing forces, as they appeared to my mind to be. If God was almighty, why, then, should He permit evil to be, even for one moment and in the minutest degree? Long I brooded upon it, and was much troubled because the distrust which came of such contradiction within the realm of God took away from me all confidence to proceed towards those dizzy heights ahead, lest I lose my balance and come to grievous hurt by falling into depths far deeper than I had hereto plumbed. At length I was ready for the help which is always given in its own season. Unknown to myself, I had been led in my reasonings all the time until I was ripe for enlightenment, and then the vision was given to me which swept all my doubtings away into oblivion, never to return to trouble me again. One day, as you would say, I sat in a bower-like hollow of the trees upon a bank of small red flowers. I was not thinking Of my chief perplexity, for I had many more things to think on more pleasurable than it. I was drinking in all the beauty of the woodland—its flowers, leaves and birds, and the songs they sang one to another—when I turned to see sitting by my side a man of grave and very lovely aspect. His

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mantle was of rich purple, and underneath he wore a tunic of gossamer through which his flesh shone like sunlight reflected from the heart of a crystal. His shoulder-jewel was of deep green, and the one upon his forehead was of green and violet. His hair was brown, but his eyes were of no colour of which you know. So he sat there looking before him and I looking upon him and his great loveliness for a long time, and then he said, "My brother, this seat is a very cosy one, and pleasant to rest upon, think you?" And I replied, "Yes, my Lord," for I had no more words than those. "And yet," he said, "it is a bed of flowers on which you set your mind to lie upon." And to that I could not give any answer. So he continued, "Think you, friend, that these little red beauties of the flower family which are filled with budding life and comeliness, such as little children have, were made for such purpose as this to which we put them?" And all I could reply was, "I had not thought of it, sir?" "No, that is after the manner of most of us, and it is strange, too, seeing that we be, every one of us, offspring of One Who is thinking all the time, and Who does naught that is not in agreement with reason. And it is within the ocean of the Life of Him we swim from age to age, and never out of it. It is strange how we can act unthinkingly, who are children of such a Father as He." He paused, and I glowed red with shame. Yet His voice and manner were not of severity a whit,

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but gentle and winning, as a maid would mother a man. But I began to think now, if not before. Here I was crushing beneath the weight of my body, all heedlessly, these tiny blossoms which were so pretty, so full of life, and yet so helpless in their meek loveliness. So at last I said, "I see the quarry of your arrow, sir, and you have shot deep. It is not well that we sit here longer, for we smother these poor flowers with weight of body." "Then, let us rise and walk onward together," he said. And so we did. "Do you much frequent this path? he asked, as we went forward side by side. "This is my favourite walk," I told him. "It is hither I often come to think out matters which perplex me." "Yes," he said thoughtfully, "this is a sphere of perplexity beyond its fellows. And, coming hither, you often sit down upon some bank and think things out—or do you rather think yourself in deeper into your perplexity, I wonder. But let that rest awhile. Where sat you last when you came hither to think?" He stood still to ask the question, and I pointed to the bank before him and I said, "It was here I sat when I came hereabouts last time." And that but recently he asked, and I said, "Yes." "And yet," he said, "I see no mark of your body's shape upon this moss or its blossoms. They have very soon recovered themselves of any untoward pressure they received." For it is so in these realms. It is not as on the

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earth. These flowers and mosses and the greensward quickly recover their seemliness, and it is hard, even on rising, to see where you have lain. It is of Sphere Five of which I speak. It is not so in all spheres, and least in those near earth. But he continued, "Yet this is the concern of the All-Creator equal in value and appraise with the bruising of the souls of men. For whatever work is His is His indeed, and His alone. And now come, brother, and I will show you what you have not been able to see for lack of faith. You now begin to doubt the wisdom of your own imagining, and in that doubt lies the nucleus of faith in the goodness of Him Whose Realm is Love, and the Light of that Realm His Wisdom." Then he led me through a by-path of the wood and to a hill, which we ascended until we stood higher than the top of the woods below and I looked over the landscape into the distance. And as we looked, I saw far away upon the plain beyond the Temple of the Sphere, and there arose through the openings of the roof bright shafts of light, and these united in one about the central dome. These were sent up by the spiritual exercises of those who were met within. At length there arose in the midst of the dome the figure of a Man, Who ascended until He stood upon the top of it. It was the figure of the Christ, clothed all in white. The garment He wore came from His shoulders to His feet, but did not hide them. And as He stood there, a rosy hue began to flood His garment, and this deepened in tone until, at length, He stood there enrobed in deep rich crimson, and upon His

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brow a circlet of rubies red as blood, and His sandals, upon His feet were enriched with rubies, too. And when He held His hands stretched outward I saw that on the back of each one great red stone sparkled, and I knew what the vision meant to me. He had been lovely in His whiteness. But now He shone with crimson loveliness, and rich deep beauty which made me gasp for ecstasy as I looked upon Him. Then, as I looked, about Him gathered a golden cloud streaked with sapphire and emerald. But behind Him, from above His head downward, stood a deep, broad, blood-red band. And another band, of equal depth of colour, crossed the upright band behind Him as high as His breast, and He stood before it in all the regal splendour of His colouring. Out upon the plain below we saw the people thronging to get a sight of this glory. And upon their faces and their robes there shone the light projected from His body, and it seemed to breathe of some call to sacrifice and service which needed trust to undertake it, inasmuch as those who should offer themselves for the work must go forth and suffer, yet without knowing quite all the mystery of suffering. But there were many who knelt and bowed their heads to earth in answer, and these He took, and told them to meet Him within the Temple and He would give them their word of mission. Then He faded downwards through the dome into the building, and I saw Him no more. I had forgotten the man beside me and was not mindful of his presence for a time after the vision had

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ended. And then I turned and looked upon him, and I saw that on his face suffering had been traced in lines both many and deep. And yet they were not of the present, but of the past, and they but made him the more lovable for their afterglow. But I could not speak to him, and so stood by in silence. And then he said, "My brother, I have come from a place much brighter than this sphere of yours to bring you hither that you should see the Man of Sorrows in His glory. Those sorrows He came forth freely to gather to Himself and make them His own. Without them He would lack some loveliness which is His to-day. And those sorrows which give to Him so much of gentleness are they which, in their crude and undeveloped state, flood earth with pain and the hells with torment. These are but for the moment for each who passes beneath their shadow. We cannot penetrate, my brother, into all the great Heart of God. But we can, as we even now have done, get at times a glimpse of the reason shining through it all, and then perplexity loses some of its more sinister aspects' and the hope arises that some day we may be able the better to understand. "But till that day dawns for me, I am content to know that He Who came forth of the Father's Heart came white and pure, and, with steadfast purpose, faced the task ahead, where His path lay amidst the turgid clouds of sin and hatred which gather about the planet of earth. Nay, into the very hells He went and sought out those who suffered there, and because of their anguish He suffered also; so the Man of Sorrows returned to the Steps of His Father's Throne,

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His task accomplished. But not as He had gone forth did He return. He went forth white in purity of holiness. He came back again the Crimson Warrior Prince and Conqueror. But the blood He shed was not that of another, but only His own. Strange warfare this, and new in the world's stranger history, that the warrior meeting his foe should turn the blade towards his own breast, and yet come forth conqueror by reason of his blood he shed. So, adding those rubies to His crown, and to His person the rosy tint of sacrifice, He came back more beautiful than He went forth. And now that tragedy of His Descent into matter is but as a moment's pressure of the moss on which you lay unthinking, and which is unhurt in its perennial freshness of growth and blossoming. "He, coming whence He does, from those high Realms of Light and Power beyond our measuring to tell us of the grandeur of the sacrifice of self—He is my warrant for God's good wisdom. "As for the tragedy of sin and frenzy of Hell's rebellion—well, they who have travelled those dark ways bring back something, too. Because of the love He and His Son have shown, in bringing out of the darkness those who had left the highway of obedience and had sought another ruler in Self, something is added to them which is precious to them and sweet, for it binds them so close to Him. Yes, my brother, you will understand one day more of that wisdom. Be patient until then. It will be a long time yet before you can come to understand. It will not come to you so readily, nor so soon, as it did

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to me, to fathom this deep mystery, because you did not sink into those deep caverns of remorse and agony. But I have dwelt there, for I came that way."

SPHERE TWO—THE THREE ROODS ON CALVARY Thursday, December 20, 1917. 5.10-6.17 p.m. SO we came to Sphere Two, and went about to find the place where they mostly gathered, for since my sojourn there changes had ensued, so that I had perforce to renew my knowledge of the ways and manners obtaining. For know you, friend, that in those spheres nearer earth there is more of change in minor things than in those spheres more remote and progressed. In Sphere Two the progress of earth-knowledge and inter-communion of peoples are still felt in their development from generation to generation, for the one sphere intervening but little modifies these, and earth-manners of thought and prejudices have still much influence in that sphere, which influence but gradually is neutralized as the spheres are traversed. Even in those well progressed there linger traces of these things, but not so intensified as to arrest development, nor to mar the Brotherhood of the children of God. They become, these differences of earth-life, varieties of type which add to the interest and charm of such as Sphere Seven and onward, and have no taint, of division, nor belittling 163

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of other opinions and creeds. Those who have proceeded so far into the light have by that light learned to read the lessons written in the Book of the Acts of God, and there is but one Book for All who speak one tongue and are all one great family of the Father there. Not, as in earth-life, out of mere passive and constrained toleration, but with hearty co-operation in work and in friendship—one in love. But now we speak of Sphere Two and our business therein. There the people were gathered into groups, as it Pleased their choice. Some sought to consort with those of their own race. Other groups were formed of those to whom Creed was of higher appeal than blood. And even political circles were not absent. And those from these groups singly would from time to time attend the assembly of other groups which were to their mind in part. A Moslem would pay a friendly visit to a group of international socialists, or an imperialist would attach himself to those who worshipped God according to the Christian faith. Much diversity was there in the grouping of the people, and much interchange in the composition of the groups. But for the most part they remained and continued in what faith they had ever been, and Of what political party and of what blood. But the coming of a mission from Sphere Ten was soon known throughout that region, for not so much bitterness remained to divide them as in the earth-life, and much good will was there. They were learning the lesson as we had learned it time agone, so, although at first they seemed a little bit slow to

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come together in general, yet we told them that this must be so, if they would hear us, for we could not speak to groups and parties, but only to an assembly of all as one. So they came and stood in a part where small knolls and dips of turfland stretched out from a hill, not very high, but higher than the other hills around. We stood upon the hillside half-way up, where we could be seen of them all, and behind us was a rock of great height and flat of surface. Then when we had praised the One Father together, we sat about the ledge of rock, and one of our number, who was more in touch with them of this sphere, spoke to them. He was of Sphere Seven, but had been lifted up to the Tenth, in order to receive with us the commission and strength for the way. Now he had great skill in the matter of word-grouping, and he lifted his voice and flung it forth over that widespread company, diverse in colouring of raiment as in opinion of what truth is. His voice was strong and sweet and this is in substance what he told them. Down on the plane of the earth there dwelt one family, which had been divided into many sections, and, seeing the evils of such division, there were many who would confederate them once again. Even in this sphere was to be seen that same stubbornness of pride which said: "My race and my creed are more to the Father's mind than those of others." It was for the reason that such must be done away before advance could be free and unimpeded that we had brought them altogether as one family to deliver, the message we had from the One Father, through the only Christ.

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At this there was some uneasiness among them, but no word was said amiss, for when they saw that our brightness was of lustre beyond their own, they gave us heed, knowing that once we thought as they thought now, and that only by the releasing of some of our opinions and the remodelling of others had we come to be brighter of form and countenance than they. So they gave our speaker heed. He paused awhile, and then took up his theme anew: "Now hear me patiently, my fellow pilgrims on the royal road of progress to the City of the Splendour of our King. On Calvary there were three Roods, but one Saviour. And there were three men, but only One who could make the promise of the place in the Kingdom, for one only of the three was King, and although the darkness fell, and with darkness comes repose, yet only One there could fall on sleep—and have you reasoned why? It was because no other there was of compassion so tender, nor of love so great, nor of spirit so pure, as to be able to understand the purpose of the Father in the creating of man in his own fashion, and of the tremendous forces which surged through the ages tearing asunder the Kingdom and the Family of God. It was the knowledge of the magnitude of that long sustained warfare and the crushing burden of the enemy's hate which wearied Him so sorely that He fell asleep. Into matter had He gone to plumb the deeps of divergence from the Highest. Now He left the body material and began His ascent back to those High Places once again. And His first captive was the one who had pleaded with Him upon the Tree, and

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another was he who for thirty pieces gave his Lord to die. Here, then, is a strange trinity of persons. Yet, as in that other Trinity the Three find Unity, so in these three is unity to be found. "For the robber sought the Kingdom of the Christ, and Judah had sought the Kingdom of the Christ, and the Lord had sought and found, that He might present it to the Father. And only He had found what He came to seek. For the robber, he had not come to understand that the Kingdom was not of the earth alone, until he saw before his dying eyes the regal mien of One Who was just on the threshold of the spirit. The other, the Betrayer, had not found that Kingdom until he had passed through the gate into the darkness without and beheld the King in the budding beauty of His native comeliness. But He Who came and found told out what sort of Kingdom it was which the Father would approve. It was both of the earth and of the Heavens. It was within them while incarnate. It was there ahead where they were going. So it embraced the heavens and the earth, as it was in the beginnings of things, when forth from the Mind of God came earth and heavens. "And so I speak to you and ask you to consider each for himself his brother. Consider the diversity of these three upon the Trees of Calvary; or these Three, the Perfect One and His two first-redeemed in the beginning of His life triumphant. Yet they show the will of God to be that, from one end of earth to the other, all people of all degrees shall be one in the Christ, and one in Him Who is greater than His Christ. So now I ask you to find among you any

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such diversity as that between Jesus of Nazareth and the Iscariot, or one of those on either hand. And thinking thus, my brothers, you will see that He, by Whose permissive wisdom men were divided, shall bring them once again within the Household in the Heavens of His Glory, for the greatest of all His glories is the glory of His love, and love unites what hatred would divide."

AT THE BRIDGE—IN THE LAND OF DARKNESS New Year's Eve, 1917. 5.15-6.25 p.m. OF our descent hereto we have spoken in brief, but now we come to those spheres where the light grows more dim, and of which not so much has been told by those who have come earthward to show to men what awaits humanity when they cross the borderline and become vibrant with the quicker life as it pulses in these realms of spirit. So we would presently be more discursive for the sake of those who would the rather attain to an equal knowledge of what is of light and shade, and those who are of the weaker sort, and who desire and need the buoyancy of joy and of beauty, may turn about and leave us to cross the chasm alone, awaiting our return to the spheres where light is dominant over all, and little of shadow there is to sully the fairness of the life abounding. So, having passed through that tract where people come on leaving earth, and of which we have already spoken in brief, we passed on into the darker realms. And now we felt increasingly that pressure of soul which needs stout hearts and wary feet to combat. 169

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For you will mark that we were not to pursue that method by which the higher ones may sustain their contact with those in the darkness, yet be to them unseen. We were to condition ourselves, as hereto, to the environment of the spheres inferior to our own, so now to those of even lower estate, so that we become of body not indeed so dense and gross as the inhabitants in proper, but yet so nearly approximate as at times to be able to be visible to them at will, and quickly, and even that they might, on occasion, be aware of our touch upon them and that they might also touch us. So we went but slowly and afoot, and all the time in-breathing the condition which was ambient about us to this same end and purpose. And we thereby also got at some sympathy of feeling with those among whom our labours were now to be. There is a region which is still in the sunlight, but ends in a steep descent, where the bottom lies in darkness. As we stood there to view, we looked across the deep valley, which seemed to be filled with gloom so gross that we could not penetrate it from our standpoint in the light. Above the murky ocean of mist and vapour a dull light rested from above, but could not sink beneath the surface far, that ocean was so dense. And down into that we had to go. The Bridge of which your mother spoke to you runs right across the valley and lands on a lower elevation beyond. Those who from the depth climb up that side, then rest a period at the further end, and come across the great causeway to the hither side. There

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are rest-houses here and there along the way where they who are too weary still to make the journey at one stage may stay and refresh themselves from time to time. For even after gaining the Bridge, the journey across is a painful one, inasmuch as on its either side they see the murk and gloom from which they have but lately come, and hear the cries of those, their sometime companions, who still linger beneath, way down, in the valley of death and despair. Our purpose was not to cross this Bridge, but to make our descent into the depths from this side. What is beyond the "lower elevation" you spoke of, and on which the further end of the Causeway rests? The Causeway rests on a ridge not quite so high as the Rest-Land which leads to the regions of Light. That ridge is but a short one, and runs in parallel with the precipice where the hither end of the Bridge finds issue. So that ridge stands as a mountain, in shape an elongated oval, with the valley beneath it and between it and the Rest-Land. Beyond is a vast plain on a level with the valley's bottom, but unequal of surface and broken up into cavities and ravines, and beyond there is a dip into regions lower still, and of darkness more gross. It is up that mountain that they perforce must climb who would reach the Bridge from that side. The mountain-ridge is short only as compared with the vastness of the region in whole. But it is so great, notwithstanding, that many lose their way and return to the valley time and again. It depends on the degree of their vision, which again is in ratio to their quality

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in repentance and will for the better life, how soon they find their way of escape. So we stood awhile and pondered, and I turned to my companions and said: "It is a murky place, my brothers, and it does not call us with much sweetness. But thither lies our way, and we had best be agait to make it." And one replied: "I feel the chill of the hate and despair from the bottom of the pit. We can do but little in that ocean of anguish. But such little as we can do cannot wait the doing, for the while we wait, they suffer." "That is the word to say," I answered him, "and it is the spirit of Him who went beforetime. We have followed Him into His Light. Let us now go into the darkness, for that, too, is His, since He claimed that also as His own by His going." So we took the path downward, and as we went the gloom became more gloomy and the chill more full of fear. But we knew we went to help, and not to fear aught, and so we did not hesitate in our steps, but went warily withal, and looking this way and that for the right path, for our first station lay a little to the right-hand as we went, and not between the RestLand and the Ridge, and it was a colony of those who were weary of the death-life they had endured, and yet who lacked the strength to break away, or the knowledge which way to take, if they should leave their present desperate anchorage. As we went, our eyes became more attuned to the gloom, and we could see about us, as on a night one might see the country outlying a city by the ruddy flares on

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the watch-towers thereof. We saw that there were many ruined buildings, some in clusters and some solitary. Decay was all about us. It seemed to us that no one had ever made whole any house, once it began to fall into disrepair. Having builded it, they left it to build another elsewhere at the first sign of wear, or, having tired of it before it was finished, had left to build another. Listlessness and want of endurance was all about us in the air—the listlessness of weary despair and the despondency of doubt, both of their own strength and of their neighbours' purpose. There were trees also, some very large, but mostly leafless, and those with leaves not comely, for the leaves were of dark green and yellow, and spiked with lance-like teeth, as if they, too, took on the aspect of enmity from those who had lived near them. Here and there we crossed a waterway full of boulders and sharp stones and with little water, and that water thick with slime and stinking. And at long, long last we came within sight of the colony we were seeking. It was not a city, but a cluster of houses, some large and some small. They were scattered about, here and there, and not in order. There were no streets in the city. Many dwellings were merely mud-huts, or a couple of slabs of stone to form a shelter. And there were fires about the open spaces to give light to the inhabitants. Round these, many groups were gathered, some sitting in silence looking at the flames, others loudly brawling, others wrestling in their anger, one with another. So, we drew near, and, finding a silent group, we stood by

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waiting and looking upon them with much pitifulness in our hearts for their hopelessness of spirit. And, seeing them, we took hands one of another and thanked our Father that He had given us this present work to do.

THE SOMETIME MAGISTRATE—A LESSER CHRIST FROM THE FOURTH SPHERE Thursday, January 3, 1918. 5.18-6.45 p.m. WHEN we had come upon the group, they had been sitting and lying round the flickering fire in sullen silence. Now we stood behind them and none looked up. Had they done so, they would not have seen us, their eyes not being attuned to our state, which was not quite modified to their own in degree. So we took hands one of another and gradually merged ourselves into visibility; the while they, one and another of them, began to shift about ill at ease, sensing as they did some unknown presence not at tune with them. This is ever so, and it is the same sense of irritation and uneasiness, when they begin to seek to aspire, which holds them back so often. The upward way is ever an arduous way, full of difficulty and failures recurring. The reward is well worth it all in the end of it. But this they do not know very clearly, and what they do know is by report of those who come to them as we did then. At last one arose and looked about him in the mist and gloom uneasily. He was a tall, gaunt figure, with knotted joints and limbs, bent and bowed, 175

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and his face was pitiful to see, such lack of hope and fulness of despair was there upon him, and found expression throughout his frame. Then he came with shambling gait to usward and stayed a few yards distant and looked upon us inquiringly. We knew then that, although but dimly, yet we could be seen by some at least of those who lived in that dark place. At this I stepped forward and said: "You look full weary, my friend, and much disturbed in mind. Can we befriend you in any way?" And then we heard his voice. It was like a long-drawn sigh sent through a tunnel underground, so weird it was. He said: "Who may you be? There are more than one of you, for others I see behind you. You are not neighbourly to this land. From what land do you come, and why do you come to us in this dark place?" I looked upon him now more intently, for even in that ghost of a voice I seemed to find somewhat familiar to me or, at least, not strange altogether. And then I knew. He and I had lived near one to the other on earth. Indeed, he was Magistrate in the town near by my home, so I said his name, but he did not start as I had expected he would do. He looked at me confused, but not with comprehension, so I named the town, and then said the name of his wife, and at length he looked down aground and put his hand to his forehead and tried to call to memory. First he remembered the name of his wife, and looked up to my face and repeated it again and again. Then I said his own name again, and he caught it from my lips quickly and said: "Yes, I remember—I remember.

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And what of her? Do you bring me news of her? Why did she leave me thus?" I told him that she was in a higher sphere, and could not come to him until he had begun his journey ascending toward her home. But he only half understood me. So dazed are they in the dark spheres, that they mostly do not realize where they are, and some do not know that they have passed over from earth-life, for only occasionally does a flash of memory of their former course on earth come upon them, and then dies away again leaving a blank behind. So they be for the most part uncertain whether they have ever lived in other places than these hells. But when they begin to grow weary of the torment, and restless to be gone to some place less gross, and to live among people less debased and cruel, then remembrance dawns back again into their dull brains, and they begin their agony of remorse in earnest. So I repeated my answer and began to explain. He had loved his wife, in his own rather selfish way, when in the earth-life, and I thought to pull him back to her with that string. But he broke in upon me: "Then she will not come to me now I have fallen on evil times." "She cannot come all the way," I said. "You must go your way to her and she will meet you." And at that he cried out in anger: "Then let her be damned for a proud and hardeased wench. She was ever the fine lady-saint to me and moaning over my little lapses. Tell her, if you come from her parts, she can stay in her spotless mansion and gloat upon her husband's state. They be here

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in plenty more pleasurable than she, if not so comely. And if she will descend from her high estate we'll have a rousing rout for her reception. So good-day to you, sir." And sneering he turned away and laughed to the crowd for their approval. But there arose one other of them who came and took him aside. This one had been sitting among them, and was drab of dress as any of them. Yet there was a gentleness in his movements and somewhat of grace withal which was to us surprising. He spoke to him awhile, and then they came back to me, and this companion said: "Sir, this man did not quite understand the purport of your words, nor that you did really come to comfort and not to taunt. He is some little repentant that he spoke to you in words such as were unseemly. I have told him that you and he were not altogether unknown each to other once. Of your kindness, sir, speak to him again, but not of his wife, for as yet he cannot endure her desertion, as he names her absence." I was very much surprised at this speech, so quietly uttered, while the brawling noises came from all around us and shrieks and curses intermingled from the groups by the fires upon the plain. But I left him with a word of thanks, and went to the man I had known. I felt my business was with him in chief, for I had a sure conviction that could I impress him we would through him be able to concern his companions in their future course, for he seemed to be dominant among them and of consequence. So I went up to him and took him by the arm, and spoke his name and smiled, and we took a walk apart,

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and gradually I led him on to talk of his earth-life, and his hopes and ventures and his failures, and, at last, of some of his sins. These he did not admit very readily, but before I left him he did allow me to blame him in two matters, and he admitted I had the right to my side. This was a very great gain, and I asked him to think on it all, as I had put it before him, and I would seek him out and speak with him again, if he would wish it so. Then I gripped his hand in a good, stout grip, and left him. I saw him sit down and draw his knees up to his chin and clasp his arms about his shins, and so left him gazing into the fire in deep introspection. But I would not go forward until I had sought out and spoken with the other, who seemed to me to be ripe for his journey out of that region into one more in tune with his repentant mind. I did not find him for some little time, but at last came across him sitting apart on the bole of a fallen tree in talk with a woman, who was listening very intently to what he had to tell her. Seeing me approach he stood up and came towards me, and I said: "My friend, I thank you for your good offices, for I have, through your timely help, been able to impress that unhappy man, as otherwise I had not done. You be more familiar with the natures of these your companions than I, and have used your experience to good effect. And now, what of your own life and future?" "I thank you, sir, in turn," he replied. "I ought not longer to delay the discovery of myself to you. I am not of this region, sir, but of the Fourth Sphere,

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and I am here by choice to do service, such as I am able, among these poor darkened souls." "Do you live here constant?" I inquired of him, amazed; and he replied: "For a long time, yes. But when depression becomes too heavy, I return for a little while for replenishing to my own home and then came hither once again." "How often?" I asked him. "Since I came here first," he said, "some sixty years have gone in earth-time, and I have returned to my home nine times. Several of those I knew on earth came here in the first early period, but none of late; they all be strangers now. Yet I still contrive to help them, one by one." At this I marvelled greatly and ashamed, Here my party came on tour and thought it a virtue so to do. But the one who stood before me brought to my mind Another, Who laid His glory aside and emptied Himself that others might be filled. I think I did not realize in fulness until then what it meant that a man should lay down his life for his friends, aye, and those friends such as these, and to dwell with them in these regions of the shadow of death. He saw me and understood some of what passed through my mind, and taking my own shame upon himself, he said wistfully: "So much He did for me, sir—so much—and at so great a cost." And I said to him, taking his hand in mine: "My brother, you have read me a lection of the very Book of God His Love. The Christ of God is beyond our understanding in the Majesty of His Beauty and His Love so wide and sweet. Him we may not comprehend, but only worship with adoration. But since

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this be so, it is something of profit to consort with one who knows how to attain to be a lesser Christ. And such, methinks, I have found in you." But he only lowered his fair head, and as I, of reverence led, kissed him where the parting of his hair was, murmured as if to himself. "If I were worthy—if only I were worthy of that Name."

INTO THE GREATER DARKNESS THE CITY OF BLASPHEMY Friday, January 4, 1918. 5.30-7.55 p.m. FROM that colony we went further into the regions of gloom. We had done what we were able, going from group to group where houses clustered or where fires burned, and ministered comfort or advice to those who would receive us. But they were not of much readiness for the most part. Some few would be able to retrace their steps upward from that place, but the many would have to descend lower into the misery of the further regions before their hardness should give place to despair, and despair should return into longing, and a glimmer of light should glow in those poor lost souls. Then would come repentance and amendment, and their toilsome journey towards the Valley of the Bridge. But that time was not yet at hand. So we left them, for we had our orders, and in our minds the map of the country by which to find our way to those places where special work awaited us. For we did not go at random into those dark places, but of purpose, set for us by those who sent us thither. And as we went we felt about us a growing power 182

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of evil. For, you must mark, there are degrees of Power, as of evil, in the different colonies there, and also diverse notes of evil dominant in its several, regions. And, further, the inequality of forcefulness obtains there as in earth. They are not all of one type and pattern in evil. For free will and personality are there, as elsewhere, and by the persistence of these, some be great ones and some of less account in power, even as in earth and in the brighter spheres. Thus we came to a large city, and entered through a massive gateway where guards marched to and fro. We had relaxed our will to visibility and so passed within unseen. We found the broad street beyond the gate was lined with great houses of heavy build like prison fortresses. From several of the wind-holes lurid flickering of light fell into the roadway and across our path. We went on until we came to a large square, where there was set up a statue on a high pedestal, not in the middle, but toward one side, where the largest building stood. The statue was that of a man who wore the toga of a Roman noble, and in his left hand he held a mirror, into which he looked, but his right hand held a flagon, out of which he poured red wine which plashed into the basin below—a travesty of nobility. The basin was ornamented with figures here and there around its border. There were children at play, but the game they played was the torture of a lamb by flaying it alive. At another part there was a rudely carved woman, who held a babe inverted to her breast. The carvings were of such like nature, all of mockery, blaspheming the virtues of childhood, maternity,

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valour, worship, love and other, an obscene and motley crowd which made us near despair of good result by any appeal to nobility of those who lived in that city. Filth and mockery was rife all around us. Even the buildings in their plan and ornamentation shocked the eye whichever way we turned. But we were there for a purpose, as I say, and we must stomach what we met, and go forward on our errand. So we willed ourselves into such a condition as that we should be seen of the inhabitants, and entered the gate of the dark Palace of Evil before which the statue stood. We passed through a large dungeon-like entrance, and, traversing the passage beyond, found ourselves at a doorway giving on to a balcony. This ran around a lofty hall, half-way up between floor and roof, with flights of steps here and there descending. We approached the balustrade and looked over into the hall below, from which a voice, strong and piercing, came to us. We could not see for a while from whom it came; but when our eyes had suited themselves more to the ruddy light which filled the great space below us we saw and knew what was toward. Opposite us there rose a great flight of steps from floor to balcony. All the crowd which filled the hall sat around and faced it. Upon the lower steps and half-way up there were coiled, in different attitudes, all unbeautiful, men and women in loose and scanty clothing, which, nevertheless, made pretence to grandeur. Here and there a gold or silver belt, or chaplet, or silver brooch of jewels, or bejewelled buckle or clasp appeared; but all were false, as one could

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see: the gold was tinsel, and the gems were counterfeit. Upon the stairs, just above them, stood the speaker. He was of giant stature, bigger than they all, as he also dominated them in his wickedness. He wore a spiked crown and a long mantle of dirty grey, as if it once had been white but lacked the lustre of whiteness, and had taken on its neutral tone from the wearer. About his breast was a double girdle of false gold, which crossed and was gathered at each hip by a belt of leather. Sandals were upon his feet, and lying on the steps beside him a shepherd's crook. But what sent through our company, as we watched him, a pang of unutterable pain was the, crown. The spikes were the thorns of a bramble done in gold, which, circling his dusky brow, was wrought into a crown. We would have turned away, but our task was set, and we must listen to his speaking until he had finished. It is painful for me to give, as it is for you to take, his story. But it is well, my brother, that they still in the earth-life should come at the knowledge of what life is in those dark spheres, for there the mixture of the good with the bad no longer holds. The good go up, the evil sink into their own lower places, and the tempering of evil with the good is not of the economy of those infernal regions. So evil left together with evil works blasphemies which are not possible in the composite society of earth. He preached to them of the Gospel of Peace. I will give you a few periods of his discourse, and from these you will judge the rest: "And so, my brothers and sisters, we all in meekness

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come together in our worship of the Beast who slew the lamb. For if the lamb be slain for us, then he who slays the lamb is the active benefactor of our race—the lamb being but the passive instrumentto the end we may come to blessedness and survive the damnable ills of the cursed. It is, therefore, meet, my brothers, that, as the Beast so curiously sought out and found the lamb, and out of its harmless uselessness brought the blood of life and salvation, so you, on noble actions bent, should seek out and find the lamb's counterpart and so do as the Shepherd has taught us. By your shrewd tempers, out of lamb-like inertia shall be brought forth life in all the fever and frenzy of your rapture. And what so like the harmless timid lamb as is a woman, my brothers, the more comely, if more foolish, counterpart of man. And in your ears, so attuned to ribald delicacy, my sisters, I would breathe a word of counsel also. Children do not come hither into these great realms over which you have done me the honour to elect me Governor. But, nevertheless, to you I would say, look upon me in my meekness and look upon this crook, as I take it in my hand, and count me your shepherd to follow me. I will lead you to those who have children too many, children to spare and to cast away from their motherly breasts as once they cast away the immature life which had begun within them, but which they of the plenitude of their pity sacrificed upon the altar of Moloch before they came forth to a life of toil and pain upon the earth. Come, fair ladies, you shall join these poor ones who lament the slain, while they shrink from and strive to cast

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away the all too life-like memories of their loved, their murdered little ones." Other words he said, too wicked for utterance now, nor would I ask Kathleen to speak them to you, nor you to hear. But these I have given you, that you and others may glimpse the evil mockery and the sneering meekness of that man, who is in turn but a type of thousands in these realms. He who assumed so gentle a character, and with so ill a grace, was one of the fiercest and most cruel despots of all that region. Truly, as he said, they had elected him Governor, but that was in fear of his great power of evil. And now that he called those poor misshapen, half-frenzied men noble, they applauded him in their servility for the self-same reason. Those poor hags, the women in their squalor of finery, he called fair ladies, and bade them follow him as sheep their shepherd, and in fear they, too, cheered approval and arose to go with him as he turned to mount the great flight of stairs. But as he began to ascend, placing the staff upon the step next above that on which he stood; he stopped and drew back and slowly descended step by step, until he reached the floor; and the whole crowd crouched about the hall breathless with wonder, blent of hope and fear. The reason of this was the vision they beheld atop the stairs before them. For we stood there, having assumed so much of our native radiance as we were able in that environment. A lady of our company stood some half a dozen steps below us. Her chaplet of emeralds shone fair upon her brow as it bound her brown-gold hair, and the

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jewel of order upon her shoulder shone bright and true of her own virtue. About her middle was a belt of silver. And all these showed in relief against those tawdry jewels of the crowd before her. And in her arms she held a bundle of white lilies. She stood there, the presentment of pure womanhood in a its perfect loveliness, a challenge to the late speaker's ribald cynicism of her race. Then, when a long time they had looked upon her, both the men and the women there, one of them sobbed and tried to smother the sound in her mantle. But then the others gave way before the returning, upon them of their sometime womanhood, and the hall was filled with the wailing of the women—oh, so hopeless to hear in that place of misery and of bondage, that the men also began to cover their faces with their hands, to sink upon the ground, and to press their foreheads in the thick dust upon the floor. But now the Governor took himself in hand, for he saw his power at hazard. He began to stride in great anger over the bodies of the women to get at her who first had set the pace to their weeping. But now I came down to the lowest step and called to him: "Stay your hand and come hither to me." At this he turned and leered at me, and began to say: "But, you, my lord, are welcome, so you come in peace among us. Yet these poor cravens be too much bedazzled of the light of that fair lady behind you, and I do but seek to bring them to their reason, so they shall give you proper welcome." But I said very sternly to him: "Cease, and come hither." So he came and stood before me, and I

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continued: "You have taken upon you to blaspheme, both in speech and also by your trappings. Take off that crown of blasphemy and lay down the shepherd's crook, you who dare to mock at One Who claims these His children whom you hold in your bond of fear." These things he did, and then I spoke to some men standing near, and I said to them more gently: "You have been cowards too long, and this man has enslaved you, body and soul. He shall be taken to a city where one stronger in evil might than he rules. Do you, who have served him hereto, do now my bidding. Disrobe him of that mantle and that girdle which he has donned in his mockery of Him Whom even he shall own some day his Sovereign Prince and Lord." And then I waited, and there came forward four of them and began to unbuckle his belt. He turned in fierce rage upon them, but I had taken the staff from him, and this I laid upon his shoulder, and at the touch he sensed the power within me and strove no more. So my will with him was done; and then I bade him go forth of the hall into the darkness without, where guards awaited to take him into that far region where as he had done to others it should be done to him. Then I bade them sit about the hall and, when this was done, I called to the singer of our band, and he lifted up his strong voice and filled that vast chamber with his melody. And as he sang, the hearts of those people began to beat more freely, not being held in leash now by fear of him whom they had seen to be so helpless in our hands. And the light began to lose its ruddy glow and became more mellow, and a

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more peaceful sense of being invaded the place and bathed their hot and fevered bodies in its refreshing breeze. What did he sing to them? He sang a song of merry joy and romping—of the spirit of the spring, of the morning breaking through the prison bars of night and liberating song and melody of birds and trees and babbling streams. He sang no word of holiness or God-like qualities, not there and at that time. The medicine needed first was to stimulate their individualities that they should realize their freedom from their late slavery. And so he sang of pleasure of life and joy of comradeship. And they became not joyful, but less despairing. Later, we took them in hand, and gave them instruction, and the day came when that hall was filled with worshippers of Him to Whose blaspheming they had listened once in their listlessness of fear. It was no such service of worship as would be of help to people of higher life in goodness. But their poor voices, lacking harmony as they did, yet had a note of hope which was very sweet to us who had laboured with them in their doubts and terrors. Then others came who took our place to strengthen them and hearten them till they were fit to travel on the journey, long and trying, but ever towards the dawnlight of the east, while we went our way toward our next destination. Were they all of the same mind? Well nigh, friend, well nigh. A few there were who were lacking. And I will tell you a thing which you will think strange and unlikely. Some elected to follow

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their Governor into his abasement. So much at one with him had they become in his wickedness, that they could find nothing in their own characters on which to stand of their own accord. And they followed him in his fall as they had served him in his lurid glory of power. But only few went thus, and other few went elsewhere about their own business. But the great crowd of them stayed and learned again of those truths they had so long forgot. And the old story was so new and wonderful to them it was pitiable to see. What became of the Governor? He still remains in that far city where his guards led him. He has not, come forth yet, being still of evil intent and very malicious. Such as he, my friend, are hard to move to higher things. You spoke of his guard. Who were they? Ali, there you touch one of the difficult matters to understand until you learn more of the ways of God His Wisdom, and His Sovereignty. In brief, know you, friend, that God is Sovereign not in Heaven alone but in Hell also, and in all the Hells He rules and He alone. The others dominate locally, but He rules over them all. The guards I spoke of were men of that same city to which we sent the man. Evil men they were, and did not own allegiance to the Creator of them all. But knowing not whose judgment delivered this one more victim into their hands, nor knowing it was for his ultimate salvation, they did our will without ado. You may find the key here, if you go beneath and deep enough, to much of that which happens on your earth.

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Evil men by many are thought to be outside the pale of His Kingdom; and evils and disasters to be faulty manifestations of His dynamic energizing. But both are in His hand to use, and even evil men, unwitting, are made to work out his plans and purpose in the ultimate. But this is too large a matter to treat of now. Good night, and our peace be yours, friend.

THE CITY OF MINES—THE CAPTAIN OF THE GATE—TO THE MINES Tuesday, January 8, 1918. 5.16-7.42 p.m. AS we went about those parts on our business of help and mercy we found our pre-arranged plan had been very curiously made for us. Each colony we visited gave to our store of knowledge some experience a step in advance, so that, as we ministered to others, we ourselves were ministered to through them by those who watched over their welfare and our schooling. Wherein, my brother, you may an you will discern another phase of the principle we have already told you of, namely and to wit, the using of those who are in rebellion in the loyal service of their true King. Without their permission? Without their opposition. They who be even very far gone away into the darkness, so they do not oppose their wills to the influences sent upon them by those who watch them from their habitations in the Realms of Life and Light, are made of service to the King. And when they turn about to retrace their steps once more towards the sunshine of the Great Day, and their reckoning is made, then this also shall 193

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be placed to their good account, inasmuch as, although unknowing, they were found so much in tune with holiness as this, that they, in this and that little, did not sustain their habit of rebellion against their God His Will. But the Governor of whom you told me at our last sitting was not one of these apparently. Yet he was used in a certain degree. He was used, yes, for in his discomfiture it was shown to his sometime company that there was a power greater than his own. Also it was shown that, by soon or by late, yet evil-doing goes never always insolent, but the scales are weighted on the other beam to match, so the balance in the end sets equal, and justice is thereby declared and quitted. But that governor will not count that among his assets, for his will was not with us, but was overborne to his discredit. Nevertheless, inasmuch as punishment was meted to him then, in part, for the crimes of him, that shall be taken from the total sum of his debt to pay, so, in a negative way, you will mark it, that also shall be put to his good account. Yet your question has some bottom in it, friend. That governor was dealt with truly against his will, but that was by way of restraint when his work of evil had gone so far as to be enough for the purpose of those who permitted him in his evil doing up to that point. It was, therefore, we were sent and were guided to that hall at that moment. We knew nought of this at the time, but acted, as we deemed, on our own judgment of the circumstances we found afoot there. Yet it was all planned by those who sent us.

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And now, if you will, we would go forward with our narrative to tell you of some of the places we happened on, and of the people, their conditions and their doings, and what we did by them. As we went about we found many of those settlements where people of like mind sought to consort together. It was sad to see them who wandered from town to town in search of that companionship which should ease their loneliness, and finding shortly that agreement one with another was not to be had in any enduring measure, would wander again into the deserts to get away from those whom they had thought to offer some chance of ease and pleasurable company. We found that in nearly every colony there was one master-mind—and here and there more than one nearly equal in forcefulness of character— who dominated the rest, and enslaved them by the dread he sent forth upon them. Here is one whose city we came to once after a long journey through a very desolate and forsaken country. The city itself was built about with a strong wall, and it was large in area. We went within, and were challenged by the guard at the gateway. There was a company of ten there on guard, for the gate was principal and large, with double wings. These men were all of giant stature, having much developed in their wickedness. They called upon us to stay, and questioned us, "Whence came we last?" "From going on our ways about the wilderness," we gave answer to their captain. "And what business do you purpose here, good sirs and gentlemen?" he said, for he had been

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of culture in the earth-life and that burnish still was upon his manners, but it was now tinctured with some malice and with mockery, as is the manner of most in those sad places. To this question we answered—I for the company: "We have a mission to the workers in the mines where your master enslaves them." "A very engaging end for your journey," he said with pleasant accents, seeking to deceive us. "These poor souls work so hard they be ready for any good friend who should take stock of them, their existence and their troubles." "And some," I said, "be also ready to depart hence free of the yoke of your lord, which, each in his degree, is bond upon you all." At once his face changed from smiling to one dark frowning, and his teeth showed like the teeth of a hungry wolf. Moreover, with the change of his mood there seemed to descend a darker mist and settle about him. He said, "Do you say I am enslaved also?" "A very slave and bond for your master, a slave himself and a driver of slaves." "That he shall make you as one of us, for you shall come to be shortly of those who dig for the gold and iron for our lord." With this he turned about and bade his guards seize us and take us to their ruler's house. But I stood a little nearer to him and laid my hand upon his right wrist, and the contact was agony to him, so that he let go his short sword which he had drawn quickly upon us. I still held him while the auras of him and me made disturbance about his soul, to

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his agony, but not to mine, for, being of the greater strength in force of spiritual power, I went unscathed, while he was anguished. Spiritual dynamics, this, to be studied, if you choose, among your own incarnate neighbours. The principle is of universal application, as you shall find if you search it out. Then I said, "We are not of these dark spheres, sir. We come from a place in sunlight of the Presence of Him of Whose life you have partaken, and violated it to evil purposes. For you it is not yet the time to win freedom of these walls and the tyranny of cruel masters here." Then he broke down through the thin shell of his lordly bearing and cried piteously, "Why may not I also go free of this hell and the devil who lords it here? Why others, if not I?" And I replied, "You are not yet accounted worthy. Watch what we do in this place, do not oppose your will to ours, help us in what we have in hand to do, and, when we have gone hence, then ponder on it well and long, and perchance even you will find in us somewhat of blessing." "Blessing," he sneered, and laughed, with naught of music in his laugh. And then he said, a little more soberly, "Well, what would you have of me, good sir?" "That you should lead us to the mouth of the mines." "And if I do not lead you? "We will go alone, and you will lose a benefit." He paused awhile, and then, seeing there might be opportunity for selfserving and benefit, he cried:

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"And why not? If there be benefaction to be had, why not I who first came upon the hazard of it? And he shall be damned the deeper in his damnation if he do but show himself against me to hinder me this time in my doing." Then he began walking on and we followed him, he murmuring to himself the while, "He is ever at variance with my plans and schemes. He is ever alert to thwart me of my will. He is not satiated with all he has hitherto compassed of malice against me," and so on, until he shortly turned him round to us and said: "I ask of you your pardon, gentlemen. It is the way with us here that we are oft bemused when our minds should be most clear. Climate probably, or overwork, perhaps. Follow me, by your courtesy, and I will take you where you will find what you are seeking." Levity and cynicism and bitterness were in his speech and bearing; but since my grip of him he was more subdued and did not oppose us now, and we followed him. We passed through some streets where singlestoried houses were placed in no regular line or pattern, but gaps were in between, and waste places where grew no herb or vegetation, or only coarse, dank grass, or shrubs with stems and branches blasted as if by the sirocco breath which came about us, now we were within the city and its high enclosing walls. It came in chief part from the mines which we were now approaching. These were the hovels where the slaves took rest of short duration, with long periods of labour in between. These we left behind us, and shortly came upon a place where there opened out to us a large

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cave-mouth which led into the bowels of that region. We drew nigh, and there came forth, in gusts, a wind of odour so foul and hot and fetid that we drew back and paused awhile to call for strength. This done, we steeled our hearts and went within and downward, the Captain still leading, now in silence and in much oppression of spirit, as we could tell by the forward, bend of his shoulders, even while descending the pathway. Seeing this I called to him, and he halted and glanced back and upward at us, and his face was agonized and grey. So I said to him: "Why are you become so sad, my guide? You have put on a sorry aspect since you drew near the mouth of these mines." "Sir," he answered, and meekly now, "I was once of those who work with pick and spade within these hell furnaces, and the fear of it comes upon me now." "Then search into your inmost soul for a grain of pity for those who work there now where once you suffered so sorely." He sank upon a boulder by the side of the path, overcome of weakness, and replied to my words with stranger words of his own: "Nay, nay, 'tis needful I be pitied by them, not they by me. Their lot is hell, but mine is hell ten times doubled." "How, since you have escaped their slavery and come forth of the mines into a better state of service to the one you call your lord?" "I thought you were some one great in wisdom," he replied with a bitter smile, "and yet you do not understand that to fly from one state of servitude to

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another of higher degree in authority is to put off a hair-shirt for one with thorns and brambles for web and woof." And then I took shame to myself that I had but just learned that lesson on top of others gathered of our experience in those dark tracts of hell. They who live there in the darkness of death are ever reaching out after an easier fate, and grasp any chance of escape from servitude by promotion to some post of authority. And when advanced to that post, they find the glamour fade away into the miasma of fear, being more nearly in contact with the archfiend, who by his brutality and remorseless malice has seized the chief power. Yes, the glamour dies, and hope dies with illusion. And yet they keep on in their grasping after advancement, and, gaining their ambition, writhe more in their despairing frenzy of agony than before. Well, I knew it now, for it was embodied in the man who sat there all unnerved and limp before me in his misery of many memories of that awful place. So I said to him, being very pitiful to see him thus so greatly suffering: "My brother, is it worthy of manhood, this life of yours? Manhood," he replied, "I put off that when I entered service here—or it was stripped off by those who thrust me in. I am no man to-day, but a devil whose Pleasure is to hurt, and whose wealth is to add one cruelty to another, and to see how others endure what I have endured." "And does that pleasure you? For a long time he was silent, and at last said, "No."

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Then I laid my hand upon his shoulder, this time not opposing my aura to his, but in sympathy, and said, "My brother." At this he started up and looked at me wildly and cried: "Did you not say that word before? Are you also mocking me as others mock me and as we mock each the others?" "Nay," I said, "you call the one you serve here your lord. Yet his power is but hollow as your own is hollow which you have received at his hand. Remorse is just at your door now, but in remorse there is not much merit, save that it be a door giving into the chamber of sorrow for sin. When we have done our work here and have left you, think on all this that has been afoot between you and me, and that, knowing all, I claimed brotherhood with you. If you in that time cry for me, I will send to help you—that is my promise. And now let us go down, even further down into the mines. We would get our work done and go forth again. It oppresses us to be here." "Oppresses you? But you cannot suffer; surely you do not suffer who come freely of your choice, and not in the wake of your crimes." And then I gave to him the answer which would help him if he would receive it: "Believe me, my, brother, who have seen Him. While one of you down here in these dark prisons of Hell do suffer, One there is who wears a ruby on His shoulder, red as blood. When we look upon that token, and from it to His eyes, we know He suffers, too. And we, who do, in our own degree, go forth on His enterprise of salving

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men, are glad that He gives leave that we should be one with Him at least in this, that we may suffer too, though not acquaint with grief as He. So do not marvel that your sorrow should be our sorrow, or that I call you brother now. He, by His love, outpoured upon us all in one great sea, has made us so."

THE MINES Friday, January 11, 1918. 5.25-6.45 p.m. SO we continued our descent, the Captain going before us some little, heartened by my words to him. And now we came to a stairway cut into the rocky earth, and at the bottom of it a heavy gateway. He knocked upon this with the handle of a whip, which he carried thrust into his belt, and through a grid a hideous face appeared and demanded who stood without and knocked. It was a human face, but with much of the savage animal in it, large mouth, enormous teeth and long ears. Our guide gave some short answer, speaking as one to command, and the gate was opened inward and we passed through. Here we found ourselves in a large cavern, and, before us, an opening through which a ruddy, murky glow came and but barely lighted the walls and roof of the place in which we stood. We went forward and looked through this opening and saw there was a steep dip without, about the height of six men. From our vantage point we looked about, and, as our eyes became more used to the gloom, we saw that before us there lay a large stretch of territory, all underground. We could not see how far it reached, 203

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but there were passages leading off the main cavern, here and there, which disappeared in what seemed black darkness. Figures went hither and thither, to and fro, with furtive tread, as if afraid some horror should start up in their pathway when they were most unaware. Now and then the clanging of chains came up to us, as some poor fellow shuffled on his way in fetters; then a weird cry of agony and often a mad, wild laugh and the sound of a whip. All was sad both to hear and see. Cruelty seemed to float in the air as one sufferer gave vent to his agony by torturing another more helpless. I turned to our guide, the Captain, and said: "This is the place of our destination. By what path do we descend?" He quickly noted the stern tone of my voice and answered: "You do well so to speak to me, and it is not to me so painful to bear that you use so hard a manner as that you call me brother. I have been of those who have laboured down yonder, and then of those to whom a whip was given to make others labour withal, and then at length, by my hardness, I became Chief-Overseer of a section beyond yonder doorway. You cannot see it from this point. It gives on to workings lower and deeper still than this, which is but the first of a series. Then I came to be about the palace of the Chief, and after that Captain of the guard of the Principal Gate. But as I look back now, I think, if there be aught to choose in it, I suffered less as a lost soul in the bowels of the mines than in the place of authority to which I have come. And yet, I would not go back again—no—not again—no—"

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He was lost in agonized thought, and fell to silence, disregarding our presence until I said: "Tell me, my friend, what is this large place first before us?" And he answered: "This is the department where the metal, having been smelted and prepared in those galleries beyond, is made into weapons and ornaments and articles for use of the Chief. These finished, they are hoisted up through the roof into the outer region and taken where he commands that they should go. In the chamber next in order, the metals are rolled and trimmed; in the next they are smelted and moulded. Farthest and deepest is the mine itself. What is your will, sir? Would you descend?" I said we would descend and see what was toward, by nearer viewing of the chamber first below us. So he led the way to a trap in the floor of our present chamber, and we went down a short flight of stairs and along a short passage, emerging a little way from beneath the whole through which we had been at view. We passed on through this first chamber, whose floor sloped downward as we went, and through those of which he had told us, until we came to the mine itself, for I was resolved to fathom the misery of these dark regions to the uttermost. These chambers intervening were all as he had told us, and of immense range in height and length and in breadth. But the many thousands who worked within them were strictly prisoners, and were taken under their guards at long intervals, and in small gangs, without and above ground. It seemed to me that the motive was not that of mercy, but rather

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of cruelty and utility. First, it most surely enhanced their despair on their return below. But also it was held out as a reward to those who slaved most hardly and were obedient. The air was fetid and heavy, wherever we went, and a dullness of hopelessness seemed to sit upon the shoulders of those we met, whether overseers or workers, for they all were slaves. At last we came to the mine itself. A large heavy gateway gave on to a plateau. Here I could see no roof. Above us was blackness. We seemed to be now not in a cavern, but in a deep pit or ravine, the rocky sides rising up until we could not follow them, so deep were we below the landsurface. But tunnels here and there penetrated deeper still and most were in pitch darkness, except where at times a light flickered and went out again. There was a sound as if a wind blew about us, the sound of one long-drawn and perpetual sigh. But the air was not in motion. There were also shafts sunk into the ground into which men went, climbing down the vertical sides by steps cut in the rock, to fetch the ore up from tunnels and galleries deeper still, bored in the rock far below the level on which we stood. From the plateau there sloped down paths towards other openings which in their turn led to workings far away, either in the ravine itself, or through corridors cut into the sides of it. It was a very large region, a region deep below the level of that dark land, which itself lay far away below the Bridge or the floor of the plain beneath the Bridge. Oh, the desperate anguish of the helplessness of those poor

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souls—lost in that immensity of darkness and with no guide to lead them out. But although they must have felt so, yet every one is noted and registered in the spheres of light, and, when they be ready for help, then help is sent to them, as it was even now. Having looked about me and received information from the Captain, our guide, I bade him open all the gates about us and those leading into the cavern into which we first came. But he replied: "Sir, it is in my heart to do this; but I fear my lord, the Chief. He is terrible in his anger, sir, and even now I have a dread upon me, lest some spying hound should have sought to curry favour with him by carrying to him a report of what has already been done." And I answered to him It seems to me you have been progressing speedily since we came hither to this dark city, my friend. I marked once before an advance in good feeling, but did not advertise you of it. Now, I see, I was not in error, so I give you choice. Think quickly and decisively. We are here to lead forth those who are ready to go a little way toward the light. It is for you to take your place at our side or against us. Will you come forth with us, or stay and serve your present lord? Choose quickly and presently." For a few seconds he stood and looked at me, and then at my companions, and then at the tunnels which led further into the darkness, and then gazed upon the ground at his feet. All this he did swiftly, as I had bidden him, and then replied to me: "Sir,

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I thank you. I will do as you bid me and open the gates. But I will not pledge myself to come forth with you. I dare not so much—not yet." Then, as if the resolve to obey us had given him new vitality, he swung about, and, even in that dim light, I noticed an air of decision, and his tunic seemed to fall a little more gracefully upon his naked knees, and his flesh to take on a more comely and healthful aspect. By this I knew more of the change of his estate in spirit than he himself knew. It is thus on occasion that, where strength of character has been overlaid and buried beneath a load of iniquity, it will suddenly start forth afresh and fling wide the portals of its prison and make a dash for liberty and the sunlight of God. Yes, but that he did not know, and I was not quite sure of its staying power, so I held my peace until he had gone on his way. I, heard him calling, in strong voice, to the porter to open the gate. I heard him shout the same command to the second as he rushed up the tunnel towards it; and then his voice gradually became more faint as he went farther away from us towards the great cavern into which we had ourselves first come.

THE "SPIRITS IN PRISON"— THE CHIEF OF THE CITY OF THE MINES Tuesday, January 15, 1918. 5.25-7.15 p.m. THEN in concert we lifted up our voices and sent forth a loud chorus of praise. It swelled louder and louder as we, sang, and it filled all that place with its melody and penetrated the tunnels and filled the galleries and the caves where the poor hopeless ones were doing service to their lord, this cruel Prince of the Darkness, who held them bond by the fierceness of his evil strength. And we were told by many later that as the strains of our singing came upon them and increased in volume, they paused to listen to that strange thing, for the music they made themselves was far different from ours, and the theme we sang was not such as they were used to hear. What was the theme, Leader? We made it to suit the purpose we had in hand. We sang of power and of authority, and how it was wielded in those dread cities of the darkened world. We showed its cruelty and its shame and the hopeless condition of those who found themselves within its meshes. And then we traced the effect such wickedness brought upon the land, and how darkness came 209

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with darkness of spirit and blasted the trees and seared the land and clave the rocky places into caverns and many an abyss, and how the very water itself became foul and the air stank with rottenness and the decay of evil all around. And then we changed our theme, and recalled the pleasant pastures of earth and the light-tipped mountains and the waters sweet, which chased and tumbled in merriment down to the plain where verdant grass and pretty flowerets grew and turned up their sweet lips to God's own sun that he might kiss them for their beauty. We sang of the songs of birds and the song of the mother to her mite and the lover to his lass, and the songs of praise which people sang together within the sanctuaries where worship was made to Him Who sent His angels that they might bring up such prayers and adoration to the footstep of His throne, there to be presented to Him with incense of purification for His glory. We sang of all those things which make for beauty on earth, and then we lifted up our voices with full-throated ardour as we told of the homes where they were brought who had tried to do their service bravely on the earth, and who now abide in the light and glory of God His Pleasance, where the trees were very stately and the flowers of gorgeous colouring, and the whole panoply of loveliness was found for the restful joy of those who owned the sovereignty of the Saviour Prince Who ruled them liege for the Father. How many were there of you in your party, please? Fifteen—two sevens and myself. That was our complement. And as we sang, one after another of

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those slaves of evil came within sight of us. A pale, grey face would half emerge from one tunnel and then from another, or from a cleft in the rock, and from holes and dens we had not noticed they looked forth upon us, until the whole of the cliffs around us were full of frightened, yet longing people, too timorous to come forth, yet gulping down the draught of refreshment like thirsty men in a desert. But others there were who looked forth in anger with red, shining eyes, which flashed their inner fires upon us, and others still who bowed their heads aground in the misery of remorse for past wrong-doing and for the memory of that mother's lullaby of which we had sung, and the way it had pointed and which they had spurned, and gone the other road—to this. Then we grew slowly softer, and ended in a sweet, long chord of rest and peace, and one long-drawn, solemn "Amen." Then one came forth and stood a little distance away from us and knelt and said, "Amen." When the others saw this they drew in their breath to see what plague would strike him, for this was treason to the lord of the place. But I went forward and raised him up and took him among us, and we closed him round, so none could do him harm. Then they came forth to the number of four hundred, in twos and threes and then in dozens, and stood like children saying a lection, and murmured, as they had heard him do, "Amen." And the while, those who stood or crouched still in the shadows of the galleries and of the boulders and crags hissed curses at us and them, but none came forth to try their tilt with us. So I, seeing all were

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come who would, addressed the rest: "Be silent a of you who have made choice to-day between the light and the darkness. These who are braver than you shall go forth presently of these mines and dim places into the light and ease of which we sang to you. Be curious of your own hearts to school yourselves that, when again our fellows of God's sunlight shall come to you, you be ready to follow their leading, as these do ours today." And then I turned to our band of rescued souls, for they were fearful and trembling at the venture they had made, and said: "And you, my brothers, come your ways into the city, and heed none who shall threaten you with the displeasure of the Chief. For he is your lord no longer, but you shall learn the service of a brighter Lord, and wear his livery anon when you have progressed to be so worthy. But now have not any fear, except to mark our word and to obey, for the Chief of this place comes, and we must reckon first with him before your way hence shall be clear." So we turned about toward the gate through which the Captain had gone, and through which many of the four hundred had come to swell our band. And, even as we did so, we heard a great noise far up towards the outer gate where we had entered, and the noise became louder and drew more near to us. So we awaited the coming of the Chief, who, as he passed through one cave and the next, called on his slaves to follow and do vengeance for him upon the insolent intruders into his realm who had dared his vengeance by defiance of authority. With such swelling words

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and many threats and oaths, he came on; and those poor craven spirits, frenzied by the dread of his presence, followed him with yells and curses, binding his blasphemous oaths upon themselves to do his bidding. We stood before our band to receive him as he came through the gate, and at last he appeared. What was he like, Leader—his appearance, I mean? My friend, he was a son of God, and therefore my brother, sunk in evil as he was. For that reason I would gladly pass by the appearance of him in charity and in pity, for pity it was that most I felt for him in that hour of his great wrath and greater humiliation. But you have asked me to limn his aspect for you and I will do so, and you shall see how deep a truth may lie beneath the words "How be the mighty fallen." He was of stature gigantic, as tall as a man and half a man in height. His shoulders were unequal, his left lower than the right, and his head, nearly hairless, was thrust forward on a thick neck. A tunic of rusty gold and sleeveless was upon him, and a sword hung on his left side from a leather belt which passed over his right shoulder. Rusty iron greaves he wore, and shoes of untanned skin, and on his brow a chaplet of silver, tarnished and stained, and on the front of it a boss carved into the semblance of some animal which might be called a land-octopus, if such there were, symbolic of his evil power. His whole aspect was that of mock-royalty, or, more nearly, the striving after a royalty beyond his attaining. Evil passion, frenzy, lust, cruelty and hatred

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seemed to suffuse his dark face and to permeate his whole personality. And yet these overlaid potential nobility, and nullified what might have been great power for good, now turned to evil. He was an Archangel damned, and that is another way of saying "arch-fiend." Do you know what he had been in earth-life? Your questions, friend, I like to answer, and when you ask them I cannot but feel some prompting leads you so to do which must have respect of me. And, therefore, I answer them. Do not cease to ask them, no, for there may be in them reason I do not reckon with and which I could find only by inquiry. But you will not mistake my meaning. If he was a great surgeon in a large hospital for the poor in your England, that does not predicate that others are as he. Had he been a priest or a philanthropist, it had been no more strange. For the outward seeming is not ever in consonance with the real man. Well, such he was, and there you have it in a word. Sorry, if I butted in thoughtlessly. No, no, my son. That is not so. Do not mistake my words. Ask what you will, for what you ask would be in the minds of many, and you speak for them. So he stood there, the King unquestioned of all that rabble, and there were thousands of them who crowded behind him and on either side. But around him was left a space—they came not too near his arm. His left hand held a heavy, cruel-looking whip with many lashes, and on this their eyes would often

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glance and glance away again as quickly. But he hesitated now to speak, the while we stood to silence, for he was only used for a long time past to speak with authority and in the manner of a bully, and he lacked courage to speak to us now he saw us, for we were of aspect restful and at variance with the whole fearful, trembling attitude of all those others in that place. But while we waited, facing each the others, I noticed behind him there was a man bound and held by two in the livery of the guards we had met at the Principal Gate. I looked with more care now, for he was in the shadows, and so I made him out to be our guide, the Captain. This seeing, I at once stepped forward very quickly, and, as I went by the Chief I touched the blade of his sword in passing, and then stood before those who held the bound man and commanded them: "Loose that man of his thongs and set him forward towards our company." At these words a yell of rage broke from the Chief and he tried to raise his sword upon me. But all the temper had left the blade, and it hung down limp as water-weed, he staring in horror at it the while, for he took it at once as a token of his authority bereft of power. I had not in mind to make of him a stock for laughter, but the others, his slaves, saw the comic element in his plight, not of humour but of malice, and from hidden places there came gusts of laughter and mockery. Then the blade withered and fell from the haft all rotten, and the haft he hurled at a point up among the rocks where some one laughed longer than his fellows. Then I turned to the guard again,

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and they hastily unbound the prisoner and set him before us. Immediately the Chief threw off his air of mock-majesty, and bowed courteously to me and then to my company. Truly this man is destined in ages to come to be a great servant of our Father when his evil shall have turned to good. "Sir,?" he said, "you have the freedom, it seems, of a power greater than my own. To it I bow, and would know your will with me and with these my servants who serve me so willingly and so well." For all his great command of self, he could not but discover, here and there, his inmost spirit of cynical malice. It is ever thus in those hell-regions; all is counterfeit—except slavery. I told him of our mission, and he said: "I had not known your estate, or else had I welcomed you more fittingly. But, having been remiss, I will now be forward. Follow, and I will myself be guide to you to the Gates of this my City. Follow me, gentlemen, the while I go to lead the way." And so we went after him, and passed through the caves and workings, and came at last to the smaller gate which gave on to the steps which led to the trap through which we had come into the mines.

OUT OF THE MINES—THE CAPTAIN'S NEW SERVICE THE LESSER CHRIST AND HIS NEW CHARGE Friday, January 18, 1918. 5.20-7.25 p.m. AS we had come through the mines, our company had been increased in length by those who had joined us from the caves which stretched into the darkness far away on either hand. News, so scarce among them, had been carried quickly to the farthest limits of these gloomy regions, and now our numbers were in thousands, where they had been hundreds before. As we halted before the wall, beneath the hole through which we had looked down upon the cave where now we stood, I turned about and could see little beyond the nearer part of the multitude, but I could hear those who had been in the workings farther away and deepest underground, still coming in with feverish haste and joining up behind the others, fall to silence in the presence of the Chief and his perplexing guests. Then I spoke first to him, and then to the company, and said:, "In your heart there is not that to match your words of courtesy which but now you spoke to us. But we come here in pity and in blessing, be it greater or less. That you 217

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may not go empty, I will bid you now that you take heed of what shall follow, both of your own thrust and of our return. Then, when we shall have gone forward on our journey with these who will shortly leave your service for that of another not so deep in the darkness of evil as yourself, ponder and wrestle with the meaning of things, and remember these words of mine for your help when you shall bite your fingers in vexation and in pride abased by your hopeless battle against us who come from those places where pride and cruelty have no place at all in the mellow light of the heavens of your King.' He stood to silence, looking upon the ground, nor would he say us yes or no, but was sullen and threatening, every muscle and every tendon taut and ready for the chance he sought, but feared to take, to our hurt. So I turned to the multitude and spoke to them: "And as for you, be not in any wise afraid of what shall come of your choice which you have made, for you have chosen the stronger part, which shall not in any wise fail you. Only be very true and do not falter in your steps, and you shall win freedom shortly and attain to the highlands, where the light is, at your journey's end." I paused, and all were silent for a short space until the Chief lifted his head, and, looking to me, said, "Ended?" And I gave him answer: "For this time. When we be free of these galleries and in the open space without, I will gather them where they may hear me the better and give direction what they shall do." "Aye, when we be free of these dark passages, aye, that would be better," he said, and

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I noted the threat beneath his tongue as he said it. Then he turned, and, having passed through the door, came soon to the window above us and told them to mount and follow him, while he led them into the City. We stood aside to let them pass, and, as they went, I sought out the Captain and told him my will with these people and with him. So he mixed himself in their midst and passed on with them out of the mines. We rallied the laggards in the rear, and at last all were passed through the door and we stood alone. Then we, too, passed through, and at length came to that bare land which was about the mouth of the mines. There again I spoke to the people, and I told them that they should separate themselves each from the others and go through the City into those houses and dens which best they knew, and best were known, and tell the news and bring forth those who would come with them to the square of the Principal Gate where we would meet with them. So they began to leave us, and, as they went, the Chief addressed himself to us: "If it pleases you, gentlemen, who have honoured us with your coming among us, I would have you consort with me to my house, while these go to gather their friends. It may chance there will blessing ensue to my household also from your presence." "Blessing indeed shall come to you and your house of this visit of ours," I replied to him, "but that will be not at the time, nor in the manner you look for," so we went with him and he led the way. We came at last to the very middle of the City, and

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there in the darkness there loomed a great pile of stone. It was more castle than dwelling-house, and more prison than castle, to see it. It stood insular, with a road on every side, oblong in shape, and rising like a hill from the flat of the roadway. But it was grim; in very truth, a dark and grim abode, in tune, every line of it, with that strong and darkened soul, its builder. We went within, and he led the way along passages and halls, and at last we came to a chamber, not very large, and there he bade us wait while he made our welcome ready. So he departed, and I smiled upon my friends and asked them, if they had fathomed the dim depths of his purpose. They were doubtful, most of them, but a few there were who felt a sense of having been deceived, so I told them we were prisoners, fast as he could make us, and when one went to the door through which we had entered he found it fast enough, bolted without. There was another on the other side of the room, which was a kind of ante-chamber to that Throne Room beyond. That also was fast bolted. You of earth would think that some at least of those fourteen would be fearful of hurt at such a pass as this. But you must know that only those are sent on such missions as this of ours, and into regions such as these, who by long training have become strangers quite to fear, and who, are strong to wield the almighty power of good, with skill so unfailing and sure, no evil can withstand it and go scathless. We knew what we should do without counsel or discourse, so we took hands one of another and

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lifted ourselves toward the light and life of our normal environment. This more gross condition we had taken upon us that we might traffic in those regions in the guise of the inhabitants who lived in them. But, as we aspired together, our condition gradually changed, and our bodies took on a nature more sublimate, so we passed hence without those walls, and stood in the square before the Principal Gate, awaiting the coming of our company. We did not see the Chief again. He had, as we knew, planned the recapture of those whom we had freed from his servitude, and even now there were being gathered from the regions round about the city by runners sent forth, a great army, which was closing in on all sides to do vengeance on those who had made bold to flout his authority. But I have naught dramatic to tell you, my friend—no clash of arms, no cries for mercy, and no coming of an army of bright warriors to the rescue. It all fell out very tame and flat. In this wise: In that mock Throne Room he gathered his court, and, having torches lighted and placed all round the walls, and fires kindled all along the centre of the floor to light the hall, he made a great speech to his dusky retainers. Then the door of our ante-room was solemnly unbolted, and we were bidden come forth that he should do us honour. And when we were not found within, and his vengeance was thus denied to him, and his shame before his nobles manifest, and all come about by his own plans and actions, he broke down utterly, while they laughed to see him so in his abasement. Cruel jests they passed among them as they strolled away and

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left him alone, seated upon his stone-chair aloft on the dais, defeated. Mark you, friend, how in these rebel states tragedy and gross buffoonery jostle one the other wherever you shall go. All is empty makebelieve, for all is in opposition to the Only Reality. So these mock rulers are served by their people in mock humility, and are surrounded by mockcourtiers whose adulation is thrust through and through with stings and arrows of cynicism and ribald mockery.

NOTE End of 18 Jan., 1918, message. ——— Here pp. 387-393 of the original Script are missing (one sitting). ———
The rescued people are handed over to the charge of the "Lesser Christ" who, with the Captain as his Lieutenant, establishes a Colony in a tract of open country at some distance from the City of the Mines. It is composed of those brought out of the Mines together with others of both sexes whom they had gathered out of the City. This Colony is referred to again later on 28/1/18, 1/2/18, pages 238 and 246.

H. W. ENGHOLM.

TOWARD THE LIGHT—CONCERNING THE MINES— ANIMALS IN THE HELLS—GOOD SUPREME KATHLEEN SPEAKS Monday, January 21, 1918. 5.30-7.5 p.m. OUR journey now was toward the light. And if I tell you that the Valley below the Bridge was what you would say was a dark night on earth, you will be able to see that the darkness about those further regions behind us was great indeed. In pitch darkness you cannot see aught. And yet there is a darkness more intense than that, for on earth, darkness is darkness alone, but here it has a substance in it which is a very real horror to those who are not protected from the higher spheres. Those poor people who have gravitated into that thick darkness feel the suffocation of drowning, and yet have no spar or sherd of wreck to buoy them upward, and so they suffer until frenzy and despair steal upon them, and then hell calls to hell in blasphemy, knowing not that in their own wills alone is the fulcrum on which they shall lever themselves upward till they attain to the light. Yes, there is a thickness 223

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in that darkness in the more remote regions. And yet, for those who live there, there is a dim kind of sight, by which they get no blessing, for it only brings to their consciousness things hideous and malicious and makes more poignant the pangs they have to bear. And these are people who have lived on your earth and mixed in earth society, and some have borne evil and others honoured names and places. I tell you this that you may show to others what is true, for some there be who say there are no hells because the One Supreme is Love both first and last. Yes, but those who so speak of Him have attained but to the First knowledge of that Love surpassing, while we who speak to you have not by a long reach attained to the Last. But enough we have bottomed of His Wisdom—enough, but a mite, withal—to be all sure that He is Love indeed. We cannot understand, but all we have gathered of knowledge of Him has enlarged our belief, and more firmly founded it, that He is Perfect in Wisdom and Himself is Perfect Love. Leader, I once, in my sleep, visited some underground workings in the dark regions. Do you know of this experience of mine, and if you do will you tell me whether this was the same place to which you went to bring the people out of the mines? There was a certain resemblance, but with some differences. I know of that experience, for before preparing you thus to write for us we made ourselves acquainted with all your life, in order that we might not err in our treatment of you. Be sure the lives of all are

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so studied here, for one purpose or other, and naught is passed over by those who would help them. As to that of which you question us. The place into which you were taken was one a few miles away from that city, and is governed by an under-lord of the Chief of whom we have told you. It is a place where those are taken who are rebellious of his authority, that there they may be both oppressed into subjection and also made to work at tasks under closer supervision than those in the mines and workings to which we went, who have more freedom, being themselves more suppliant and broken. To the place you name those go in most part who are newcomers into that region, and so are not conversant with the extent of the cruelty there obtaining, nor of the divers forms in which it is exercised upon them. What were the animals for? They were trained to help in the overaweing and guarding of the prisoners. But what could animals have done to merit such a hell and to be put to such a use as that? These animals have never been in the flesh. Those go into brighter places. These are the creations of evil Powers who are able to bring them forth so far but not to project them further in advance toward incarnation on earth, so they become animals complete as ever they will be, by the complement of a body composite of the elements of the dark regions which form their environment. That is why you were somewhat perplexed to place them in their order. They have no order in the earth-economy of animal

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life, where only those great Creative Beings are enabled to express their faculties in the evolvement of animal tribes who have attained to high places in the Brighter spheres. Do you understand me as I am able to put an unearthly truth into language of earth? Yes, I think so. Thank you, sir. It is a great mystery and new to me altogether. But I seem to feel it may be a key to other mysteries when one has time to think it out a little. That is so, my son; deal with it so and you will find it helpful. Bear in mind always that although, when considered in the light of the Only Good and Beautiful, evil has a negative aspect, yet when considered obversely, that is, beginning at the opposite end and proceeding forward in opposition to the Life Stream of the Only Good, there be great and powerful beings of darkness who are the counterpoises of the Archangels and Principalities and Thrones of Light. One great divergency, however, stands, and it is this. As through the stories of the heavens there is progress ever onward until the Sublime blends into the Ultimate Sublimity, in the darker spheres there is no such consummation, there is no Supreme. As in all other phases of activity, so in this, those dark powers stop short of completeness, and order is wanting by reason of the lack of a Godhead. Were this not so, then darkness would equal light in potency and in evolutional expansion, till light should find no place, and love and beauty might be invaded of their opposites, until no place for them

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should be found. Then the purpose of the Most Highest should be thrust awry, and, stumbling into by-ways, be wrecked in space, and among eternities be changed into confusion, and so fail to attain. So, powerful as are those Lords of the Darkness, they are not Allpowerful. This is the prerogative of One, and of Him alone. He has knowledge of His own Might so complete as to be secure in what licence He permits to a progeny rebellious, and, for a few eternities, they are permitted to stray, that, in the end, they shall prove, by their capitulation, free-willed and unconditional, the supremacy of Love. Then will First and Last be clarified as to their relation each to other, and the Wisdom of God be manifest. I am able to give you so much, my friend, of the aspect of the Kingdom which we only know ourselves in part, and who have a language for our use more serviceable than that of earth. I cannot give you more than this, I fear. But if you have any further question Thank you; not on that subject. Then for the present we will let that suffice. Kathleen, I think, has it in her mind to say a few words to you, so we will leave her to her own sweet thoughts and withdraw our more grave influence from her locality, so she may be free, of her own winning self, to say her say to you. She is most kind and patient to be our writer, and we thank her very sincerely for her willing service to us. We shall meet with you again when you have opportunity for our

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presence. Good night, my friend, and God. His Brightness be with you and your people who are enveloped in a radiance more than they know. It shall be revealed to them and to you some day.

RETURN TO SPHERE TEN THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY MOUNT SILENCE IN THE HIGHER SPHERES A VISION OF THE CHRIST REGAL January 25, 1918. 5.25-7.43 p.m. WHEN we came at the Bridge we crossed it from the darker side and arrived on the slopes which rise to the progressive spheres, and there awhile we rested and reviewed the work we had so far brought to a conclusion. Here there met with us a messenger from our own land, who brought tidings of what was there afoot about our mission. For never since we had left the Sphere Ten had they loosed from their being in touch with us, and as we talked with, him he picked out those instances of special need when those who watched from their high place had felt necessity to send, on the instant, an access of help and guidance to us. Some of these were known to us, others were suspected, but the most of them had been times of special stress when all our faculties had been alert to deal with the matter on hand, so that we had missed the fact of outside aid impinging on our circumstances. For, down in those darker regions, having taken on the local condition 229

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greatly, we had perforce to endure some of the limitations of soul which went along with the heaviness of environment about us at the moment. So it is with you of the earth sphere, my friend, and if you do not ever realize the help given, it is there to hand, nevertheless, and dealt out as you shall need it. Now I will go-by the intervening journey, and tell you of our return to Sphere Ten. We were met on the outlying hills by a party of our good friends, who awaited our home-coming with much gladness, and with no little eagerness to hear of our adventures. These we told them as we went onward, and then at last we came to the great plain before the Temple of the Holy Mount, and ascended to the Porch thereof. We were led within, and went forward into the great Central Hall of the Sanctuary, and here we found a great concourse of people gathered. They were kneeling in adoration of the Great Unseen, and did not move as we passed quietly within and waited in their rear. You do not know what silence is on earth. There is on earth no perfect silence. You cannot go where you will leave sound behind. Here in the Tenth Sphere, and at that time in the Sanctuary was Silence, in all its majesty and awe. Away beyond the earth, if you could go through the air, you would gradually leave the sounds which are upon its surface behind you. But there would still be the atmospheric friction which would invade silence with a sense of sound. Even beyond that atmospheric belt there would be, in the ether, sound as a potential element,

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as planet called to planet in gravitational response. Beyond the Solar System, and between it and other systems in the void of space, you would approach to an idea of silence, while earth would be millions of light-years away, unseen, unfelt, almost unknown. But the ether would be there, and, although your ears would not hear any sound, yet ether is the realm of which atmosphere is the ante-chamber, and sound is its neighbour and closely akin. But here in the Sphere Ten is an atmosphere of what ether should be if ten times refined by sublimation, and Silence is here a thing not negative so much as active in its effect upon those who bathe themselves in its ocean. Silence here is not an absence of sound, it is the Presence of the Silent One. It is a vibrating entity, but of so quick pulsation that stillness and, Silence are as one. I am not able to be more plain in my description, for it is not possible for you, in your grosser element, to imagine, even by a little degree, the condition of which we partook as we entered that vast Temple Hall. Then down the gangway in the midst there came the Seer, and, taking me by the hand, he led us toward the Altar which stood on the boundary of the Chamber where the Throne was, and from which he had dismissed us on our journey. We came now a little weary, with our hearts full of what we had seen in those far realms of darkness. Our faces showed the effect of many a fight for the mastery—for I have but told you of our enterprise in brief, and nowise fully. We were warriors who had come through the war which is incessant between

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good and its opposite. But our scars and furrows would blend into harmony anon, and we should be more comely than afore we had suffered. It is so with our Royal Prince and Captain Who has shown us the way to Beauty of Spirit, as of aspect in body. And indeed He, Whose robes still read the lesson of Sacrifice its high dignity, is so beautiful as I cannot find to paint His comeliness in words of earth—or of the heavens. So we paused before the altar, and at some distance away, and then we too knelt down and adored the Fount of Being, the One Supreme, Who becomes manifest to us only by Presence Form, and that rarely, but mostly by His Anointed One, Who is more in tune with our present state by reason of His Humanity. Then we at last, having received the sign, all raised our heads and looked toward the Altar. The sign we had was a sense of Presence which glowed in and around us. And as we looked we saw standing on the left of the Altar, with the Altar on His right hand, the Son of Man. He never comes twice in like fashion quite. There is ever some detail new to catch and hold the mind and speak its lesson. In straight line above His head, hands crossed abreast, stood still, silent and suspended, seven high Angels. Their eyes were not closed, but the lids were lowered, and, they seemed to be looking on the ground a little in rear of Him. They wore gossamer robes of vari-coloured hues. They were not really coloured, these robes. They did but suggest colour without displaying it. These were hues you have not

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on earth, but with these were also some after your style of violet, gold, faint crimson (not pink—but what I write, faint crimson), you cannot understand this, but let it rest, you will some day—and blue—only suggestions of these, but very beautiful. And for all their gossamer robes, their bodies were naked in all their surpassing loveliness. They were so very high in their holiness that the garments were of such a lustre as not to clothe so much as to adorn. Their heads were encircled with a band of light about their hair, and the light was alive and moved in its radiance as their thoughts took on a disposition towards praise or love, or pity, so evenly attuned and so equal the poise of their minds, that even a very slight change of thought would affect those circlets of light, and also send a shimmer of crimson through a blue robe, or a shimmer of gold through one of violet. The Christ Who stood by the Altar was both more emphasized in His visibility, and also the details of His countenance were to us more plain than was the case with those attendant Angels. He wore upon His head a double crown, one within the other. The larger and outer one was of purple, and the inner was of white mixed with crimson. Bars of gold joined the two into one structure, and between them were set jewels of sapphire a very pretty piece, and the light from it was a cloud about His head. He was clad in a robe of shimmering silver, and upon it was a mantle of crimson-purple—you have no colour of it on earth. About His middle was a belt of metal, between silver and copper in colour. I am doing my best to, give you what His appearance was, and so I

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must use strange mixtures of earth-words, and even then I cannot come near to doing what I list to do. Upon His breast was a chain of rubies, which held His mantle about His shoulders. In His hand He held a stick of alabaster, vari-coloured, which He rested upon the Altar in repose. His left hand was upon His hip, thumb in belt, so that the mantle fell away on that side. The grace of His figure was matched by the graciousness of His face. Was His face anything like the conventional idea we have in pictures of Him? But little, friend, but little. But you must know that His face is not of the same features in detail in every Manifestation of Him. In essentials it is unchanging. As I saw Him now, His face was that of a King. The Sufferer was there, but Regality was the dominant note. We read Him as one who had won His Kingdom. What elements of battle remained were transmuted into that restfulness which comes with attainment. You are wondering if He had a beard, as in your pictures of Him. Not as I saw Him then. Indeed, I have never seen Him yet with a beard; I have seen Him some fifty or sixty times. But that does not settle the matter. There is no reason why He should not appear bearded, and He may do so on occasion. I have not seen Him so, that is all I can say. When we had looked on Him, and on the Angels above Him, He spoke to us. You would not understand the import of His theme to the great congregation of people assembled. But when He came to speak to us, the Fifteen just returned, His words

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were such as these, but not spoken as you speak words: "And you who have been down into the outlands of gloom, know you that I am there also. Manifest to those, My strayed ones, I may not be, except in part and seldom. But when I had penetrated to the outer realms of My Father's expression of Himself, then, before returning this way onward, I went, as you have done, and spoke to many people, and they awoke to hear My voice, and a large number set their faces forward towards these realms. But some there were who turned away from Me to darker spheres, because they might not endure the sense of the Presence of Me, which at that time became intensified in the atmosphere of those regions, and should so remain. You did not reach so far as to the refuge of those who fled from Me then. But I am there with them also, and they shall be here with Me some day "But now, My own and earnest missioners, you have been afoot of My business, and I have noted your work from My own place. You have not come forth of your battle without scathe. They gave me wounds also. You have not in everything been given due credence for your honesty of purpose in your calling of men into the sunlight of these spheres. Of Me also they said I did not well but evil. Your hearts have sometimes been very full of pain when you beheld the pangs of our brethren in those drear lands. And at times you have stooped to wonder why the Father is so called—times when most the anguish of others bore you down with its millstone of woe, and crushed you nearly. My beloved and fellowlabourers

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in those far fields, remember how I, too, as in all things else, so in this, plumbed the deeps of human experience. I, too, knew darkness when His face was turned away." He spoke in quiet, calm, and equal tones, and, as He spoke, His eyes seemed to dissolve into a mist, a vista of great distance, as if, while telling of these things and people, He was there in the midst of them, feeling and suffering with them in those dim places far away, and not here in the Sanctuary amid all the beauty of holiness and bright with the seven shining Beings glowing above Him. But there was no passion in His words, only a great majesty of pity and of power over all the ills of which He spoke. But to His words again, so far as I can translate them to you: "But now I give you to wear, when you do worship to the Father His goodness and loving bounty, a sign and seal of your journey and service, and of your suffering." He spoke of the new gem which was then added to our diadem of worship which we wore. Then He raised His left hand and slowly circled it over the heads of the kneeling multitude, and said: "My legate I leave with you, to tell you further of the business next ahead of you in this place. For that work I am with you to help you, for it is a great emprise I entrust to you. Do not hurry to begin, and, when begun, be strenuous and strong to end it in good fashion, that it need no repairing of others more in advance of you in knowledge as in power. Call and I will answer. But call not more than needs

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be. This is for the betterment, not only of the spheres inferior, but for your proving also. Remember that, and do what you are able with strength already yours. Yet do not let the work suffer for lack of calling on Me, for I am there to answer. And that this work at your hands be well done is greater to your minds than your own advancement, for the work is My Father's and Mine." Then He raised His hand in blessing and worship blended, and said very slowly, "God is." And as He said this, both He and the Seven slowly faded from our gaze as they withdrew, into their own Sphere and left us alone in the Silence. And in that Silence was the Beloved His Presence, and we, being wrapt about by the Silence, knew that it was His voice, and it spoke for us, and we paused, because it was He who was speaking, and, pausing, heard and worshipped.

THE DIADEM OF WORSHIP—THE PROGRESS OF THE PEOPLE OF BARNABAS Monday, January 28, 1918. 5.24-7.6 p.m. THUS, then, our journey and our mission ended as we have narrated to you. Have you any questions you would ask of us concerning what we have told you? I think I see some questions taking form in your mind, and this is perhaps a convenient Place for their answering. Yes, I would like to put a few inquiries to you. First, what did you mean by your diadem of worship, or some such phrase you used, in your last message? No emotion, no thought here is without its outer manifestation. All you see around you from your place upon the earth is the manifestation of thought. All thought is ultimate in the Being from Whom all life proceeds. From the outer inwardly all thought finds its focus in Him. Conversely, the Source of all thought is He from Whom it proceeds, and to Whom it returns in never-ending cycle. Between-times, this thought-stream passes through the mentality of Personalities of varying degree of authority, 238

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and also of loyalty or oneness with Him. This thought-stream, passing through these Princes, Archangels, Angels and Spirits, becomes manifest through them externally in Heavens, Hells, Constellations of suns, Sunsystems, Races, Nations, Animals, Plants, and all those entities which you call things. All these come into existence by means of persons thinking from themselves outward, when their thoughts take on expression tangible to the senses of those who inhabit the sphere in which the thinkers dwell or with which they are in touch. Nay, more, the thoughts of all, in all spheres, whether Earth or Hells or Heavens, are manifest to those who are, by their degree of power, competent to sense them. So it is not more than true to say that all your thoughts, my friend, are registered both here in these lower Heavens and also in those sublime regions which throb with the pulsation of the very Heart of the Holiest and Highest, the One Universal and Supreme. As in matters majestic, so is it also in matters of detail. Thus the thoughts of a company in these heavenly regions become manifest in the temperature and tint of the atmospheric environment. (I use earth words, for in them only can I give my meaning to you.) So the quality and degree of the person here are manifest in more ways than one: in the texture, shape and colour of his robes; in the form, stature and texture of his body, and in the colour and lustre of the jewels which he wears. Thus, on our return from our mission in those far regions we, having assimilated into our personalities

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qualities before lacking, were given one gem more to wear in our diadem. This action on the part of the Christ was not of an arbitrary nature. All here is done in strict and exact equity, but in the manner most gracious. I called this circlet our diadem of worship, because it is not visible upon our heads at all times, but only when our thoughts and emotions are focused on worship. Then it appears upon our hair, binding it about and clasping it behind the ears. All the gems which go to adorn it are not so much selected as evolved by those qualities we have accumulated in our progress from sphere to sphere. And now we were given one more in token, as the result of our achievements in those lower spheres where that our mission lay. There is much more in respect of jewels and gems which you would not understand, even could I put my meaning into words. Some day you will know of their beauty and their symbolism and of the life which animates them, and of their powers. But not now. Shall we say that shall suffice for the time, and pass on to other questions? Thank you, Leader. Can you tell me anything of the Colony to which you took those you had rescued, and left them with the one whom I will call the Lesser Christ? You do well to call him so; he is worthy of the name. Yes. With a few of the party who went with me on that journey, I have visited that Colony several times, as I promised him. I found he had not disappointed my hopes of him. Mark me well in this,

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that I am entirely satisfied with his work. But this, was his proving, and, in result, it did not eventuate quite as I had expected. It has been very interesting for me to go there from time to time, and also to receive reports of others my commissioners, who go there in my name and bring me word of what is agait there. On my first visit I found that they had arranged a City, in fashion orderly enough, but the buildings were rude and not elegant, even as the materials to hand in that region could have made them. There seemed to be a lack of completeness. I said words of approval of what had been done, and of encouragement to further endeavour, and left them to work the scheme out for themselves. I found, as time went on, that—for comfort I will call that Lesser Christ by a name—we will speak of him as "Barnabas," that will serve very well—I found that his power was not in leadership of command; it lay rather in the more persuasive leadership of love. This was a great power among his people, as they more and more came to understand, and to be able by development to respond. Wisdom he had in plenty, but not command. By his wisdom he came to see this, and by his humility he was able to acknowledge it readily and without shame. So, while in the deeper and more spiritual affairs he led, and leads to-day, he committed more and more, but gradually, the organization to his lieutenant, the Captain. This is a very strong personality, and he will one day stand resplendent in these Heavens of light, a mighty Prince, to dare and do great things greatly; a man of large emprise.

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By slow degrees he awakened in those poor darkened brains what skill they once had on earth in their various callings, and got them to work. Smiths, wood-workers and carvers, masons, architects, and also artists and musicians, each to his own calling. Every time I went, I found the City improving in order and in appearance, the people more happy. And one thing else I found. When I brought them there as I came back from the deeper darkness beyond, the light was, at best, a glimmer over the land. But every time I went I noticed an access to the degree of light and visibility prevailing over the City, and, from the City, spreading its gleams over the country surrounding. This was one effect of the quiet activity of Barnabas himself. He it was who bent the spirit of each of his people towards their true destiny. By his love he enthused their spiritual aspirations, and as these became more real, so the people themselves advanced in light which, beginning inwardly, was radiated outwardly, and the result was seen in the increased and ever increasing brightness of their atmosphere. So these two, loyally co-ordinating each his powers to those of the other, have done great things, and will do more anon, to my very great joy and the joy of all of those who suffered with me when we trod the dark by-paths of that underworld in search of souls who had lost their way. Do the inhabitants of the surrounding regions ever molest them? To your question, my son, as worded presently, the answer is No. None molest them now, nor seek to do

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so. But at the first, when they were weakly and least able to deal with their enemies, they were much harassed by them. I will tell you. Now, first I will tell you what will strike strange on your mind. You remember the twelve times twelve thousand redeemed of whom Johannes writes. Yes; well, the number of our redeemed was that number. You would ask me why and how this came to pass. It came to pass in the counsels of those who conceived that enterprise; spheres far above mine they be, and their reason is not known to me; but it has relation to future ages of progress. You are wondering whether the number has anything in contact with those other of John's redeemed. No, not explicitly, at least. Implicitly there is a reason. That reason will work out in future development of that company, who will form of themselves hereafter a new and self-contained—what shall I say so you will understand me?— department in the Heavens. Not a new Heaven, no, but a new heavenly department; so. Now to your question. At first they were much hindered and much vexed by surrounding tribes, who came, and, finding what was on hand there in their midst, snarled insults at the people and departed. But they reported to other tribes, and many an assault was made on parties of workers as opportunity was found. Then these minor attacks ceased for a long period. But the Captain was ever regaining his one-time alertness and ability, and had his watchers posted on outlying hillocks and in watch-houses all round. And from these he knew that a battle was

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impending, for the tribes were gathering a large army, and drilling their soldiers, with much display and talk of glory, as their manners go in those regions of false-reality, so to group words. But all the time our people grew in strength and also in brightness, and when the attack came they were able to beat off their foemen. It was a long and a very bitter battle of forces and wills. But they won, as they were bound by their destiny to win, what, strange as it may sound to you, and a paradox, was a real and strenuous fight. What helped them greatly was their increased lustre of person and atmosphere. This was very painful to their adversaries, who were still immersed in their darker condition, and they cried out in agonized frenzy when they came within the radius and felt the sting of the unresponsive aura of that City and Colony of progressive people. Improvement has still proceeded, and, in ratio to their increasing brightness, the Colony has been gradually removed from its original state and has approached the spheres of light. And so I come upon a principle of inter-relation between state and place obtaining here in these realms, and which you may find it hard to understand—nay, impossible. So I will not enlarge on it. I will say their enemies found it harder to come near to them, while the Colonists found that every time a trial of approach was made the radius of their City's immunity from danger had increased and still continued to increase, and their enemies perforce stopped in their tracks farther and farther away.

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So small parties were settled on the ever-brightening lands around to farm and to till them, and to establish forests and mines. These were the last to be taken in hand, for the people shrank from the idea by reason of bitter memories. But metal was wanted, and some of the bolder and more determined set about to dig them, and they found that to work as slaves and to work as freemen were very diverse in effect upon them, and now they have no lack of happy volunteers to their help. So it is that their increasing in goodness increases the light about their dwellings and their City. And that is their strength, for it is token of their advance towards higher estate, and that means greater power to them. Therefore it is that their enemies are powerless to come at them to their hurt. My son, do you mark that well, for it is not without gladness for whose who in their earthly pilgrimage are encompassed with enemies also. And, be these enemies incarnate or spirit, they differ in nowise, mark you, from those who encompass the City of Barnabas, but ever at larger range as the City emerges more and more into the light, and they are left more and more in the darkness behind, below. My love to you, my son, and our blessing.

ZABDIEL'S BAND—CONCERNING THE FUTURE OF THE PEOPLE OF BARNABAS Friday, February 1, 1918. 5.38-6.35 p.m. KATHLEEN has a word for you, my son, and then, when she has spoken, we will ourselves speak to you. Well, Kathleen? Yes, I wanted to tell you that we have been in touch with the Zabdiel Band, and they have sent a message to you by me. They wish me to tell you that your mind may rest at ease. Since they came into our neighbourhood, when we were speaking to your wife, you have been questioning whether it was Zabdiel himself, or one of his Band, who gave you that series of messages in Ids name. It was the Leader Zabdiel himself who came personally, but with a few of his friends, and spoke to you. It was not one of his band, but himself. He wishes you to know this. Some of you who came a few evenings ago, told my wife that they had seen the name Zabdiel on—was it on their belts? That is right, yes. I didn't know he had a band until then, and 246

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have been wondering whether I had mistaken one of them for Zabdiel himself, as I have heard that such spirits often give messages in the name of their Leader. That is so. It is quite an orderly and regular custom. But in this case it was Zabdiel who came and did the work himself. Thank you, Kathleen. Is that all you wished to say? Yes. Now you can ask your questions of Leader. He knows you have them in your mind, and is waiting to answer them. Very well. First, Leader, reverting to the subject of our last meeting, I wish to ask you this: In that future Department of the Redeemed 144,000, what part will you yourself play? I have a feeling that you will have some connexion with them in some way. Is that so? It is not without significance that that precise number should have been selected to form the new heavenly Department. Personally, I did not know of their number until my second visit to them after their settlement with Barnabas. Since then I have felt that what you suspect may have some truth in it. Nothing definite has been told me, for the time of which you speak is not yet. They still need much preparation before they emerge into the Light toward which they are steadily making their way. Also, their rate of progress is that of the slowest and most backward of them, or their number, settled with such evident care and design, would become meaningless.

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For were they to be advanced individually as they came to merit advancement, they would become divided, and the arrangement would come to naught. As I say, I have not yet been given any further charge concerning them and their future course. I watch over their present progress and am well content, and find much joy of our work. The rest awaits the decision of those who direct us from the Higher Spheres. This, however, I may say. You mind me that I told you of our number. It was Fifteen. I told you further that the Fifteen were made up of two Sevens and myself as Leader. If you think of us as two bands, each of Six, with a Governor, and of those as subject to a Ruler over the whole Department, then you will have our complement complete in Fifteen. It will be interesting for you to watch this new Colony of the Heavenly Realms. You have, taken a part in its present inception, or, at least, its early development, and will no doubt be always interested in its progress. How have I taken a part in its development? But yes, most surely. You are the instrument by which an account of the present condition of this people has been given forth of these spheres into that of earth. Those good and thoughtful who read of it will pray for them, and think kindly of them, and Of us their helpers. Thus they and you will help on their development. I fear I haven't thought to pray for them yet. Because you have not had time to grasp the actual reality of what you have written at our instance.

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When you do you will pray for then, or I mistake you. Nay, I ask you to do so. Certainly I will do so. Yes, and when you come Over here You will see that People with Your own eyes, and will rejoice that you have helped them thus, for they will not be ready for advancement very far until a long time after you are here with, us. Pray for them, therefore, and you will have many who will give you their love and gratitude, as to one who gave his kindly sympathy when they needed it so much, as now. Speak of them, think of them as the People of Barnabas. Why not think of them as your people, Leader? Nay, friend, they are not yet mine. You go too fast. I think they one day will be so, and I hope to that end, for they be to me as my children, my own little children, so helpless, begotten from among the dead. You may image in your heart what that is to me. So do I ask you to pray for them and to send them your kindly thoughts of love, as also to Barnabas and the Captain. They be all your brethren, my son and you, through us, have been put into real touch with them. Ask others to pray for them also. Thank you for explaining what I fear I had overlooked. Yes, and pray for those others of whom we have spoken, for they be in sore need of prayer and help to uplift them—I speak of their sometime Chief in that dark City of the Mines, and also of the others of whom we have told you. Could earth people come to realize what they might do for those in the Hells,

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they would lessen, by their prayers for them, the ills they themselves suffer. For by lifting those poor spirits more into the light, and softening their anguish, they would lessen both the numbers and the malice of those who rush to earth to trouble those of like nature with themselves, and, through them, the whole of mankind. It is well for men to look upward and strive towards the light. It is of more virtue to look downward towards those who have sore need of strength so they may rise out of their unhappy spheres. For, bethink you, friend, this the Christ did long ago, and thus They do to-day. God give you of that bounty bountifully, my son, which then He sent to earth. And may He attune you in your spirit and your acts to the mind of Him Who brought it. I mean the Bounty of the Father, which His Son once brought to man in this dark sphere of earth, and does to-day, and always. Remember this, and you shall not then choose but to give to others as you have yourself received, to your greater peace and joy. Note.—The messages following the above were continued on the evening of February 5, 1918, and continued with one or two intermissions until April 3, 1919, and are published in Vol. IV of The Life Beyond the Veil, entitled "The Battalions of Heaven."

Printed in Great Britain by Butler & Tanner, From and London

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